Simone Biles withdraws from women’s team gymnastics at Tokyo Olympics as ROC takes gold


“Anytime you find yourself in a high stress situation you panic a little bit,” the 24-year-old told reporters. “I have to focus on my mental health and not put my health and well-being at risk.”

“It just sucks when you fight with your own head,” she added.

The gymnasts said those competing were not “just athletes, we are people at the end of the day” and that the US team planned to have a “day of mental rest” on Wednesday.

Biles’ emotional interview put the issue of mental health at the center of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Earlier on Tuesday, Naomi Osaka, who also spoke openly about her own mental health issues, was eliminated from the Olympic tournament in women’s tennis.

Initially, the rest of the U.S. team wanted her to continue competing, according to Biles.

“I was like, I think the girls have to do the rest of the competition without me. They were like ‘I promise you’ll be fine, we watched you warm up’. But I said ‘no, I’m gonna be fine but I can’t risk a medal for the team and I have to call him.

“You usually don’t hear me say things like that because I persevere and push things, but not to cost the team a medal. So they were like: OK, if Simone says that, we have to take things. seriously enough, I had the right people around to do it.

After Biles retired, the (ROC) won gold, while the US team took silver and Great Britain took bronze.

“The impossible is possible,” gymnast Angelina Melnikova described the ROC victory, but it was Biles’ psychological well-being that dominated the aftermath of the final.

Grace McCallum (left) and Simone Biles react in the women's team final.

“Long Olympic journey”

The ROC team of Vladislava Urazova, Viktoriia Listunova and Melnikova won with a score of 169.528, while the United States team took silver with 166.096 and Great Britain bronze – their first medal in women’s team gymnastics since 1928 – with 164.096.

Quadruple Olympic gold medalist Biles withdrew from the final after leaving the arena to be assisted by the coach.

While performing her Amanar jump in the first rotation of the team competition, she only managed a rotation and a half and landed awkwardly – causing gasps from spectators in the center gymnastics Ariake.

“It’s been a long Olympic trip, it’s been a long year… after the performance I did, I didn’t want to compete in the other events, so I thought I would take a step back,” Biles told the reporters later.

She added that as she gets older she is “a little more nervous when I do gymnastics” but is “proud” of her team for continuing without her and winning a medal.

Shortly after Biles’ withdrawal, USA Gymnastics released a statement saying, “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the Team Final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for them. future competitions. I’m thinking of you, Simone! “

The Russian Olympic Committee has scored a historic double in team gymnastics.

Biles returned to the arena ahead of the second rotation in tracksuit as Jordan Chiles took his place on the uneven bars.

She continued to support her teammates on the sidelines, chatting with them and cheering after each routine.

Chiles, a close friend of Biles’, was competing in her first Olympics and competing alongside Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum.

ROC’s victory secures a famous brace after the men took gold in Monday’s team event, while also denying the United States – whose silver secured an eighth consecutive podium – a third Olympic title consecutive.

The United States had narrowed the ROC lead to 0.8 before the final rotation, but any chance of a comeback victory was effectively out of reach when Listunova scored 14.166 for her superb floor routine, wearing the ROC ahead of more than three points.

Melnikova then scored 13.966 to seal the victory and spark emotional celebrations with her teammates.

“I knew it was up to me, and I felt immense happiness and I knew I had done it. I knew I had done my job,” Melnikova said of her last routine.

“We still can’t believe this is happening. The impossible is possible now… We worked extremely hard, we were basically in a closed training camp for a year and a half, working for this moment.”

ROC Liliia Akhaimova, Angelina Melnikova, Viktoriia Listunova and Vladislava Urazova celebrate on the podium.

With the women’s all-around final on Thursday, Biles said she “would take it one day at a time.”

“Today has been really stressful,” she added. “We had a workout this morning. Everything went well, then just that five and a half hour wait or something, I was shaking, I could barely take a nap.

“I had never felt this before competing before and tried to go out there and have fun… let the girls do it and focus on myself.”

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