VIDEO: Simone Biles exits team final after vault
TOKYO - Simone Biles came to Tokyo as the star of the U.S. Olympic movement and perhaps the Games themselves. It all came to a stunning halt in the women’s gymnastics final on Tuesday night with an uncertain vault.
The team representing the Russia Olympic Committee surged past the shorthanded U.S. to the top of the podium, posting a score of 169.258 to win the country’s first Olympic team gold in nearly 30 years.
The Americans, with Biles serving as head cheerleader while clad in a white sweatsuit and dealing with what USA Gymnastics called a “medical issue,” hung on for silver.
The vault requires a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by 2 1/2 twists. Biles instead did just 1 1/2 twists with a big leap forward after landing. She sat down and talked to U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin, then headed to the back while her teammates moved on to uneven bars without her.
When Biles returned several minutes later, she hugged her teammates and took off her bar grips. And just like that, the greatest of all-time’s night was over.
USA Gymnastics did not specify the nature of Biles’ medical issue, saying in a statement she “will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Biles is scheduled to defend her Olympic title in the all-around final on Thursday. She also qualified for all four event finals later in the Games.
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