Included in Saturday’s total was the closest thing to perfection that U.S. gymnastics has seen since the scoring change that expanded scores beyond the 10-point ceiling: a 9.9 execution score on vault, one-tenth short of perfection.
Biles has exacting standards, which is why she was so exasperated by an Thursday performance that fell short of her capabilities. Saturday, by contrast, she eased up on herself and, in the process, crushed the field.
Biles totaled 124.1 points, including an astonishing 63 points Saturday, in her two-night runaway. She increased her opening-day lead by leaps and bounds in each of the first three rotations and finished with a margin of 4.95 points over Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn.
Born in 1997, five years after Zmeskal’s three-year run, Biles became the second women’s gymnast in USA Gymnastics history to repeat as a repeat champion with a no-doubt victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
A quarter-century ago, it was Kim Zmeskal, a powerhouse from Houston who became the first to win three consecutive women’s all-around championships from 1990 through 1992.