Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles has been pulled out of the team final because of a ‘mental issue’ after just one event following a shock error on vault that resulted in her lowest score in years – days after she spoke out about her struggle to deal with the pressure of the Olympics.
The 24-year-old – who had been expected to lead the US to gold in the team event – was withdrawn from the lineup after flubbing her vault in the opening minutes of the team final competition in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Shortly after the dramatic error, Simone left the stadium with her trainer and was closely followed by medical staff – sparking fears that she had sustained a serious injury.
Moments later, it was announced that she had been pulled out of Team USA’s uneven bars lineup, and shortly after, it was revealed that she had been taken out of the competition altogether.
According to NBC’s commentators, Simone’s coach confirmed that the athlete had not been injured, explaining that she her withdrawal from the final was the result of a ‘mental issue’, although USA Gymnastics later released a statement blaming the decision on a ‘medical’ problem while noting that Simone would be ‘assessed’ before the individual finals.
‘Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,’ the statement said. ‘She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.’
The gymnastics legend qualified for all five individual event finals – the all-around, floor exercise, beam, vault, and uneven bars – and she had been hoping to add six more gold medals, including one in the team final, to her already-impressive tally of Olympic titles, however USAG’s statement indicates that this quest could well be brought to a very swift and dramatic end.
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Source: By Charlie Lankston for Dailymail.com and Shekhar Bhatia in Tokyo, Japan, for Mailonline
After Simone Biles’s Stunning Withdrawal, Russia Wins Gold Medal
In the biggest upset for the United States at the Tokyo Games, Simone Biles withdrew from the gymnastics team competition after it had started on Tuesday, handing Russia’s squad a path to the gold medal and ending American domination of the event for more than a decade.
Biles, Team U.S.A.’s star, pulled out of the event “due to a medical issue,” according to a statement from U.S.A. Gymnastics, the national governing body of the sport.
“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” the statement said.
Russia finished with a total score of 169.528, more than 3 points ahead of the United States, which won silver, at 166.096. Britain won the bronze medal with a score of 164.096.
The Russian team had surprised the Americans in qualifying on Sunday, raising the pressure even higher for the U.S. team to maintain its unchallenged success in the sport. The Americans were aware of their impressive winning streak, which included Biles and the team known as “the Final Five” at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and Gabby Douglas and “the Fierce Five” at the 2012 London Games.
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Source: By Juliet Macur, the New York Times