Leaving, beaming, then capturing her heart, it seemed like a gesture of relief: Simone Biles won a bronze on the balance beam on her return at the Tokyo Olympics. Gold and silver went to China’s Guan Zhenchen (14,633 points) and Tang Shijing (14,233 points). German gymnasts did not qualify for the top eight final.
The 24-year-old Biles (14,000 points) had only completed the qualifying competition in Tokyo and was eliminated in the team final after the first of four rounds. After that, Biles decided not to participate in the all-around final and also made decisions about jumping gear, uneven bars and on the ground.
Biles reported on Instagram about “Twisties” – that’s what mental blocks are called in gymnastics in the USA. “My mind and body are simply not in harmony,” wrote the American star, who last fell during training. The four-time Olympic champion said the problems affect “all competitions and it’s really annoying”.
Because of its current difficulties in turning around the longitudinal axis, it did so without any kind of screw on its return. This reduced the difficulty of her workout, but the four-time Olympic champion from Rio de Janeiro in 2016 was able to make up for this shortcoming by performing her elements with pinpoint accuracy.
In qualifying, Biles showed her fourth best workout, five years ago in Rio she also won a bronze medal on the crossbar. With her 32nd Olympic and World Championships medal, she tied with record holder Larisa Latynina (USSR).