Gymnastics-Biles to compete in sixth world championships

August 27, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; All Around first place medalist Simone Biles during the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY

(Reuters) - Simone Biles is set to compete in her sixth world championships this month after posting the top all-around score at a U.S. qualifying competition, USA Gymnastics said on Wednesday.

Biles, a four-times Olympic champion and 19-times world gold medallist, headlines the five-woman team heading to Antwerp, Belgium, where she won the first of her five world all-around titles in 2013 at the age of 16.

"Back to where it all started, see you soon Belgium," the 26-year-old wrote on Instagram.

Biles will become the first woman to represent the U.S. at six artistic world championships, according to USA Gymnastics, after earning automatic qualification by topping the all-around standings at this week's two-day selection camp in Katy, Texas.

She will be joined by Shilese Jones, Leanne Wong and Skye Blakely - all part of the team that won last year's world championships - and 17-year-old Joscelyn Roberson.

The championships run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8.

Biles returned to competition in August after a two-year break from the sport, having withdrawn from multiple events at the COVID-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 due to the 'twisties', a loss of spatial awareness in mid-air.

She won a record eighth all-round title at the national championships and said earlier this month that her goal was to compete at next year's Paris Games.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad;Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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