Simone Biles, Shilese Jones and Suni Lee take next steps toward Paris 2024 at U.S. Championships

Simone Biles, Shilese Jones, Suni Lee and the rest of the women who hope to dazzle at Paris 2024 in artistic gymnastics for Team USA took their next step toward the Olympic Games Wednesday (29 May), participating in official practice ahead of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Women’s competition begins on Friday (31 May) with the champions set to be named on Sunday.

The U.S. championships are the second of three major events ahead of Paris 2024 to decide the U.S. squad that will be named on 30 June at the U.S. trials in Minneapolis.

For Jones, a two-time World all-around medallist, it’s all a stepping stone toward her ultimate goals in the French capital.

“It’s definitely a process. It’s a plan. I feel like you have to follow it. I feel like you can’t be 100% in every meet and expect to go for 1,000% at trials,” she told media ahead of the event. “[It’s] just getting ten steps better for trials, so I’m 100% ready then.”

Jones looked solid in training Wednesday (29 May) despite telling reporters she’s been dealing with a sore shoulder since finishing runner-up to Biles at the recent U.S. Classic.

For her part, Biles looked to be her usual confident self, adding a Cheng vault (round off on to the board, half on to the table, front layout with one-and-a-half twists off) to the programme she used at the Classic..

Lee will make her return to the all-around in Ft. Worth after not competing on all four apparatus since February 2023. She competed on vault, beam and floor at the Classic and plans to add uneven bars at the U.S. championships.

On the bars Wednesday, Lee looked tentative during official practice, missing several attempts at a straddled Jaeger release move but did hit two full routines toward the end of the workout.

She is opting for one of many possible routines on the event, according to coach Jess Graba.

“We have like five or six [routines] that we can do right now,” said Graba. “Right now, we’re pretty much doing a second half for this meet. The main focus for this meet was build some stamina under pressure in front of everybody. And, like, get up and get warmed up in two turns. So, we’re there.”

2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas, who had returned to the sport after eight years away, withdrew from the event earlier in the day, citing an ankle injury but leaving the door open to the Olympic Games LA 2028.

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