Simone Biles left competition early at the Tokyo Olympics team competition Tuesday after a rare stumble on vault, NBC announced and the International Gymnastics Federation wrote on Twitter.
She will not be competing in the rest of the competition for the team event.
All eyes were on Biles to see if she would attempt a Yurchenko double pike on vault. Instead, as the Americans opened competition on vault, Biles bailed in the middle of her Amanar attempt, bringing down the difficulty level of her vault.
Rather than 2.5 twists, she only did 1.5, resulting in a score of 13.766 — remarkably low for Biles’ standard. The Americans ended that first rotation, out of four, about a point lower than the athletes from Russia.
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The U.S. women’s gymnastics team is competing in the team finals at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, seeking to bring home the gold for the third time in a row.
This is one of the strongest gymnastics teams the world has seen, led by all-time great Biles and uneven bars phenom Sunisa Lee. The team is rounded out by Jordan Chiles, who’s powerful on floor, and Grace McCallum.
During qualifiers for the final this past weekend, the Americans were surpassed by athletes from Russia competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
The U.S. ended with a cumulative score of 170.562, while the athletes from Russia finished with 171.629. While those numbers do not factor into the finals scores, it sent a message to the previously dominant American team.
The U.S. has medaled in every women’s gymnastics team event at the Olympics since 1992. That included three golds, two silvers and two bronzes.
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In the team event, four-person teams from eight nations compete on each apparatus. For the women, this includes balance beam, uneven bars, vault and floor.
The world is watching for fireworks, particularly from the U.S. team, which could include a spectacular uneven bars performance from Lee.
The U.S. men’s gymnastics team came in fifth at their final Monday.
Both individual American men and women will have more opportunities for medals as the all-around and apparatus finals take place later in the Games.
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