Russia Wins Gold Medal Following Simone Biles’ Striking Withdrawal

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In greatest sorrow for the United States at the Tokyo Games, Simone Biles After the start on Tuesday, the gymnastics team withdrew from the competition, giving the Russia team the way to gold medals and ending more than a decade of American dominance of the event.

Team USA star Biles said he withdrew from the event after feeling too much pressure to succeed, because he wasn’t mentally in the right place to perform the difficult and often dangerous skills he knew. She said she struggled with the stress of being the greatest gymnast in history and that it was very difficult to deal with external expectations.

Ahead of Tuesday’s event, he said he started “fighting all these demons” and couldn’t stop them.

“At the end of the day, I have to do what’s right for me,” he said, adding, “It’s too bad it’s in the Olympic Games.”

He said he wasn’t sure if he would compete again at the Tokyo Games, starting with the all-round final, an individual competition on Thursday.

Russia finished with 169,528 points overall, 3 points ahead of the silver medalist USA with 166,096 points. England won the bronze medal with 164,096 points.

The Russian team surprised the Americans in Sunday’s standings, further increasing the pressure for the US team to continue its unrivaled success in the sport. The Americans were well aware of the impressive streak that included the “Final Five” at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and Gabby Douglas at the 2012 London Games and Biles and team known as the “Five Five”.

The last time the United States lost a team final at the Olympics or world championships to Russia in 2010. Since then, the United States is far ahead of the world in sports, winning world championships and Olympics by a wide margin in a sport where competitors are usually divided by less than a single point, by at least 4 points. At the Rio Games, the Americans crushed the Russians by more than 8 points.

The USA team in Tokyo did its best to preserve the legacy of success. But without Biles, the Americans could not keep up with the Russians. Still, they had a chance to go gold in the final event, the floor exercise, and were only eight-tenths of it at first. Jordan Chiles’ untimely fall, landing on the back end in one of his rolling passes, gave Chiles just 11.7 points, putting the Russians in a safe lead.

The day after the men’s team won the Olympic gold medal, the women of the Russian team performed their demanding routines with precision and grace, and the USA team just couldn’t keep up. This didn’t help the Americans’ confidence that they had made it to the finals as they tried to get back to Russia, taking second place in the standings.

During Sunday’s qualifier, Biles and some of his teammates made unusual mistakes as they were nervous. Biles stumbled as he got off the balance beam, took a big step and backed up a few small steps. He went so far out of bounds in the floor exercise that he slid down the edge of the sloping, elevated competition surface. In the safe, he got off the mat after he got off.

Those mistakes and teammates’ mistakes were cleared for Tuesday’s final. But even though the Americans took deep breaths and tried to regain their composure, it wasn’t enough to put the United States back on top.

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