Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Simone Biles set to compete in beam final for Team USA
Simone Biles will compete in Tuesday’s balance beam final at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics has announced.
The 24-year-old has not competed since she withdrew early in the women’s team final last week, citing a desire to protect her mental health.
However, Biles has been confirmed on the official start-list as the third of eight finalists.
- Simone Biles withdraws from women’s floor final
- Max Whitlock: ‘Incredible’ Simone Biles has shown strength
USA Gymnastics tweeted: “We are so excited to confirm that you will see two US athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow – Suni Lee and Simone Biles!!”
We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow – Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!
Biles had previously pulled out of the individual all-around, vault, bars and floor finals in Tokyo after withdrawing from the women’s team final.
In a social media post on Friday, the American admitted that she was continuing to suffer from a phenomenon known as ‘twisting’, which can affect a gymnast’s spatial awareness.
The four-time Olympic champion wrote on Instagram: “It has never transferred to bars and beam for me. This time it’s literally in every event which sucks.
“(You) literally cannot tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body.”
However, Biles now looks set to compete in the beam final – an event in which she is the reigning world champion, having also won Olympic bronze at the Rio Games in 2016.
Whitlock: ‘Incredible’ Biles has shown strength
Max Whitlock has praised “incredible” Biles for prioritising her mental health during the Tokyo Olympics.
Team GB’s Whitlock, who won gold by defending his individual pommel horse title on Sunday, praised the US gymnast for her bravery as has described her as the greatest of all time.
“She’s incredible and I think what she’s done out here shows a lot of strength,” Whitlock told Sky Sports News.
“That’s probably one of the hardest things for her to do. It’s really difficult. She’s been showing a lot of twisting problems and a lot of mental problems with her gymnastics.
“She’s also got a ridiculous amount of pressure on her shoulders, labelled the GOAT every single competition she goes to. The greatest to ever do it, she really is, but to keep on going at that level is difficult.
“I’ve said it before and I feel very grateful for going along this process and getting results, but it makes it 10x harder to get more results.
“A lot of people look at someone who has reached the pinnacle of their career and they think the next one’s actually easier because they’ve done it before, the pressure’s off, the next one’s a bonus.
“Well actually, it works the opposite and that’s really hard mentally to deal with for any athlete.
“So she’s shown so much strength in terms of doing what she’s done and making the decision that’s right for her.
“I wish her all the best and hopefully we can see her compete in Tokyo, that’ll be a dream for her but if not, hopefully we see her continue.”
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