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Simone Biles wins bronze in balance beam in Olympic return

Simone Biles has won bronze in the women’s balance beam final after pulling out of other events at the Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health issues. 

The star gymnast received a score of 14.000, which placed her behind Chinese gymnasts Tang Xijing and Guan Chenchen. It was the seventh Olympic medal for Biles, tying her with Shannon Miller for the most ever for an American gymnast.

Simone Biles of Team United States competes during the Women’s Balance Beam Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

/ Getty Images

Teammate Suni Lee went right after Biles and placed fifth after nearly losing her balance during her routine. 

The 24-year-old Biles won bronze on beam in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and qualified for the eight-woman final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on the first weekend of the Games.

She removed herself from the team final on July 27 after a shaky performance on vault during the first rotation. She watched from the sidelines as her three American teammates completed the meet without her. The U.S. took silver behind the team known as the Russian Olympic Committee.

Biles qualified for all five individual event finals but took herself out of four of them: the all-around, vault, floor exercise and uneven bars. Lee earned the gold in the all-around, becoming the fifth straight American to claim the sport’s marquee title. 

Biles said she was dealing with issues surrounding air awareness, referred to as “the twisties” in her sport.

“It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind and body in sync,” she said. “10/10 do not recommend.” 

Biles also continued to defend her decision to remove herself from competition for her own safety. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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