Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles wins balance beam bronze on return
Simone Biles has clinched a bronze medal in balance beam, her first of the Tokyo Olympics.
The American gymnastics star finished behind gold winner Guan Chenchen and silver medallist Tang Xijing, both representing China.
A week after taking herself out of several competitions to focus on her mental health, Biles drilled a slightly altered routine on Tuesday.
Simone Biles does a double pike dismount, which she hasn’t done in approximately 9 years! What a wonderful performance! pic.twitter.com/r1y7ceKyhG— Poor Lawyer (@poorlawyer) August 3, 2021
Biles, using a routine that ended with a double-pike dismount (no twisting required) posted a score of 14.000. That was good enough for second, after four competitors during the eight-woman final.
Last week, the American gymnastics superstar had withdrawn from the all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being. USA Gymnastics had said in a statement that the 24-year-old is opting to not compete. The decision had come a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn't mentally ready.
Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, took Biles' place in the all-around. Carey initially did not qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee.
Biles had qualified for the finals on all four apparatuses, something she didn't even do during her five-medal haul in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The 24-year-old arrived in Tokyo as arguably the face of the Games following the retirement of swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt. She topped the qualifying despite piling up mandatory deductions on vault, floor and beam following shaky dismounts.
(With AP inputs)