Shilese Jones pulls out of U.S. Championships and plans to petition to Olympic Trials

Six-time world medalist Shilese Jones will not compete at this weekend’s U.S. Championships, she announced ahead of Friday’s competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jones is one of a handful of gymnasts in contention for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team competing in Paris this summer. Two weeks ago, at the Core Hydration Classic, Jones solidified herself as Team USA’s strongest asset behind Simone Biles, finishing second in the all-around competition and winning the uneven bars.

At a training session in Fort Worth on Wednesday, Jones told reporters that she was struggling with a shoulder injury that flared up after competing at the Core Hydration Classic.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be participating in the Xfinity Championships this year,” Jones said in a statement Friday. “With Paris as my ultimate focus, it’s best for me to prioritize recovery and resting my shoulder this weekend.”

She added, “Both the medical team and I are confident this is the right decision to ensure I’m at full strength for Trials. I’m excited to support my fellow athletes and teammates this weekend.”

The gymnasts representing the U.S. in Paris will be selected at the Olympic Trials this summer, which are slated for June 27-30 in Minneapolis.

While the U.S. Championships are the official qualifying event for the U.S. Olympic Trials, the selection procedures enable athletes to file a petition to compete in case of injury or other extenuating circumstances.

Jones said she intends to file a petition with USA Gymnastics to compete at Olympic Trials. If her petition is accepted, she will be joined by the top-two finishers in the all-around competition at the U.S. Championships, who gain an automatic berth to Olympic Trials. The remainder of the Olympic Trials field will be determined by a selection committee after the second day of competition on Sunday.

Simone Biles was the frontrunner after the first day of competition Friday, establishing a lead of more than three points over Skye Blakely. Kayla DiCello, Suni Lee and Leanne Wong rounded out the top five.

The Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships air live 7-9 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC and Peacock. They also stream on and the NBC Sports app. (Comcast, the parent company of NBC News and NBCUniversal, runs Peacock and NBC Sports.)