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Simone Biles exits Olympic gymnastics team competition in Tokyo

OLYMPICS By Reuters | July 27th 2021
October 13, 2019 Simone Biles of the U.S. celebrates with her five gold medals, breaking the World Championships medals record REUTERS

Simone Biles' bid to launch a history-making goldrush at the Tokyo Olympics fell apart after a single vault on Tuesday when the gymnast superstar pulled out of the team event, and her American team mates were beaten to the title by the Russians.

The late-night drama was a fitting end to a day which had begun under the threat of a storm and featured the loss of the face of these Games, tennis player Naomi Osaka.

America's silver team medal means Biles can no longer win six golds here which, added to her haul of four from Rio, would have confirmed her status as the greatest gymnast of all time.

"After the performance I did I just didn’t want to go on," Biles said.

USA Gymnastics said Biles had withdrawn because of a "medical issue", and would be assessed daily.

"Injury, no," she said. "Just a little injury to my pride."

While she could still, in theory, win five and match the current record, it seems unlikely.

Russian great Larisa Latynina won nine gymnastic Olympic golds in the 1950s and '60s. Only Michael Phelps, with his 23 swimming golds, has won more.

If Biles does win five here she would join four athletes on nine -- Latynina, swimmer Mark Spitz and track and field athletes Paavo Nurmi and Carl Lewis.

 

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