Simone Biles withdraws, Russian women take gold in team gymnastics

Tokyo, Jul 27 (EFE).- World-renowned gymnast Simone Biles on Tuesday withdrew from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics women’s artistic gymnastics team finals due to a “medical issue.”

Team USA went on to take silver while the Russian Olympic Committee’s women ended a decades-long gold drought and Great Britain came third, the team’s first podium since 1928.

In a statement, Team USA said: “Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”

Biles, 24, withdrew after just one routine in which she scored 13.766 on the vault at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, her team’s lowest.

Tokyo 2020 press said: “Just moments after marching out on the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Biles had a scary warm-up vault. After blocking off the vaulting table, the 24-year-old appeared to get lost in the air, opening out after doing just one-and-a-half of her planned two-and-a-half twists.

“After vault, Biles sat on the sideline talking with coach Cecile Landi and the USA Gymnastics athletic trainer. Their discussion ended with Biles and the trainer leaving the field of play together.”

With Biles out of the picture, the Russian team began to stretch the points gap in the team finals until it came to the beam, when two falls saw their lead reduced to just 0.800.

Jordan Chiles went out of bounds on her floor routine, handing the ROC the edge. Russia’s Angeline Melinkova sealed the team’s gold medal with her routine.

This is the first time both Russian teams have won in the artistic gymnastics at an Olympics since Barcelona 1992, when they competed as the Unified Team following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Widely regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time, Biles’ departure from the team artistic gymnastics finals came as a huge blow for Team USA.

She won four gold medals and a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. EFE


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