TOKYO — Simone Biles withdrew from Sunday’s individual event finals in vault and uneven bars due to an inability to mentally focus enough to compete. She has made no determination as to Monday’s final in floor and Tuesday’s in beam.
The four-time gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Games is continuing to train here in Tokyo while seeking professional help. Friday, Biles took to Instagram to explain she is suffering from the "twisties," which she says is causing her to lose her place in the air.
“My mind and body are simply not in sync," she wrote. "I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on [a] hard competition surface."
Biles had already pulled herself out of the team competition on Tuesday after just one rotation, the vault, and withdrew from Thursday's all-around competition, giving way to Sunisa Lee to win gold for the United States.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement that Biles "will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam.”
MyKayla Skinner, who believed her Olympics were over when she failed to qualify for any of the finals, will now take Biles’ spot in the vault final. Skinner, 24, qualified fourth overall for the event, but was the third-best American behind Biles and Jade Carey, who came in second.
The Federation of International Gymnastics has a rule that limits participation to two gymnasts per country. Skinner is now unexpectedly given another chance and with Biles out, will enter as the third-highest qualified gymnast in the competition and thus a legitimate medal contender.
Biles was an overwhelming favorite to win gold on vault, one of her strongest events. She qualified with a score of 15.183, low by her standards and an early sign that things were not right for her here at these Olympics.
Carey scored a 15.166 and is now the top qualified athlete in the competition. Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, who took silver to Lee’s gold in the all-around competition, qualified second at 15.100.
Skinner came in at 14.866.
Lee will carry US hopes in the uneven bars. No additional Americans will take Biles’ place on the uneven bars because none qualified to do so.
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