Naomi Osaka feels ‘refreshed and happy’ as she kicks off Olympic campaign with victory

American Simone Biles will compete on beam on July 25.
Simone Biles of the United States competes on the beam on July 25. (Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)

Gymnast Simone Biles commented after she and her teammates failed in the first rounds of women’s artistic gymnastics qualifying at the Ariake Gymnastics Center on Sunday.

“I think we did a really good job. Obviously there are little things that we need to work on, so we’re going to practice and work on them, just so that we can do our best performance in the team finals (Tuesday), because that’s what matters. . We are really aiming for the top three (finish). ”

The US team is currently in second place behind ROC after three of the five subdivisions.

US high performance team coordinator Tom Forster said the team “had a great performance today and some not so good, but the mistakes we made are mental”.

“These girls have trained incredibly well, so these are things that we have time to work on leading up to the finals, and we will,” he said.

On the reasons for the USA squad’s errors, which included extra steps and unstable landings, Forster said: “If you’ve ever been in competition, it’s just the nerves to be in competition.”

Forster said Biles’ mistakes, including taking three big steps on her descent on beam, were a “surprise,” adding: “I’ve never seen her do this before.”

“It was a surprise. She has been incredibly consistent and I’m sure she feels bad, but I’m very proud of the way she trained. She has been a great leader for us. Sometimes, as in other sports, great athletes drop the ball into the end zone or a quarterback throws an interception. It happens. These steps are mental mistakes.

He said second place in qualifying could be “a big wake-up call” for the US team.

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