Olympic champion Simone Biles out of team finals with apparent injury

Japan 2020

Simone Biles, of the United States, waits for her score after performing on the balance beam during the women’s artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

TOKYO (AP) – Olympic champion Simone Biles is out of the team finals with an apparent injury. USA Gymnastics issued a statement saying Biles had withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue.

Earlier, Simone Biles and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team were off to a rocky start in the team finals.

Biles bailed on her planned Amanar vault, opting for an easier one in mid-air and then struggling with the landing. The rare miscue by the Olympic champion allowed the gymnasts from Russia to open up a one-point lead after the first rotation.

Vault has long been a strong suit for the U.S. and Biles is the defending Olympic and world champion in the event. Yet the Russian athletes have made up considerable ground since the 2019 world championships. They have an opportunity to win their first Olympic gold since the Unified Team topped the podium in Barcelona in 1992.

The women’s gymnastics team final is underway, with the U.S. looking to secure a third straight Olympic title.

The team representing the Russian Olympic Committee stunned the Americans during qualifying, becoming the first team in 11 years to beat the U.S. in any portion of a major international competition.

The U.S. and the ROC will be paired together as they make their way around the Ariake Gymnastics Centre. The rivals will start on vault, followed by uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

This is a developing story. Download the WATE 6 News app for updates sent to your phone.

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