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Olympics: Gymnast Simone Biles pulls out of Monday’s floor exercise final

Published: 1st Aug 2021 10:37 am

Tokyo: Star American gymnast Simone Biles on Sunday pulled out of the floor exercise final, scheduled for Monday, after having opted out of the vault and uneven bars finals in artistic gymnastics a day earlier.

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USA Gymnastics tweeted early on Sunday that, “Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone.”

The 24-year-old’s Instagram stories had suggested on Friday that she is still not ready to compete as she is dealing with ‘the twisties’.

Twisties are defined as a sudden inability to feel comfortable while twisting in mid-air. It means that the rhythm is off and the gymnast’s mind won’t allow the body to complete a particular trick.

On Saturday after Simone had pulled out of the vault and uneven bars finals, USA Gymnastics had said in a statement that, “After further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars. She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam. We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances.”

For Sunday’s vault final, Simone has been replaced by her team-mate MyKayla Skinner. MyKayla was fourth in qualifying for the vault. But with Simone and Jade Carey ahead of her in scores and a two-gymnasts-per-final rule meant that she missed out on the final.

With Simone’s withdrawal, MyKayla gets a chance to end her gymnastics career on a high on Sunday. “Looks like I get to put a competition Leo on just one more time. Can’t wait to compete in vault finals. Doing this for us @Simone_Biles (red heart emoji) It’s go time baby!” wrote an excited 24-year-old on Twitter.

Simone’s spot in the uneven bars final has been filled by the first reserve Melanie de Jesus dos Santos of France.

Projected as the biggest star of the Tokyo Olympics, Simone was tipped to be at her best after winning four gold medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But the six-time Olympic medallist sat out from the final of the team event on Tuesday and the individual all-around final on Thursday due to mental health concerns.

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