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Simone Biles Forced Out Of Team Competition At Olympics

by : Hannah Smith on : 27 Jul 2021 12:37
Simone Biles Forced Out Of Team Competition At OlympicsPA Images

Simone Biles has withdrawn from the women’s team artistic gymnastics final after experiencing a ‘mental issue’, a spokesperson for USA Gymnastics has said.

According to NBC, Biles briefly left the arena after completing two vaults before returning to speak with her teammates. She was replaced by Jordan Chiles, and will reportedly not compete further today.

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Concerns were first raised after Biles made a rare mistake during her first vault, with American commentators saying they had ‘never once, not once, seen her bail out of a vault like that’.

Simone Biles withdraws from team gymnastics final due to 'mental issue' (PA Images)PA Images

A spokesperson for USA Gymnastics who confirmed the withdrawal told NBC that Biles’ departure was ‘not injury related’, but added that instead it was due to a ‘mental issue she is having’. Biles is set to compete in all five individual events later this week, but there are now clear doubts over whether she’ll be able to proceed in what is widely expected to be her final Olympics.

Biles had an uncharacteristically shaky qualification round on Sunday, stepping off on her floor routine and vault landing, and only narrowly qualifying for the beam final.

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In an Instagram post yesterday, the legendary gymnast revealed that she’s felt heavy pressure coming into Tokyo 2020 as the face of the US’s team and one of the biggest draws of the Olympics.

‘I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard,’ she wrote.

The US, who went into the games as strong favourites for the team final, are facing a strong challenge from the Russian and Chinese teams. Biles has remained in the arena to support her teammates in the remainder of the final.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Sport, Gymnastics, no-article-matching, Now, Olympics, simone biles, Tokyo 2020