American gymnast Biles misses two more Olympic finals
Simone Biles has withdrawn from two more Olympic finals at the Tokyo Games, USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Saturday, while her entire campaign is now in serious doubt.
The 24-year-old gymnast came to Tokyo in search of five gold medals to match the Olympic record of nine, but withdrew from the women’s team competition and also skipped her overall title defense, citing mental health issues.
That left Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games, with possibly four more medal events in Tokyo, but she withdrew from two of them on Saturday.
“After further consultation with the medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the vault and uneven bars finals,” the USAG statement said.
“She will be evaluated daily to determine if she will compete in the floor exercise and balance beam finals.”
Biles said Friday she was struggling with the “twisties,” the mental block that has sidelined her in Tokyo.
The US Federation said MyKayla Skinner would participate in the vault final along with Jade Carey.
“We continue to be impressed by Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all the athletes who have risen during these unexpected circumstances,” the statement said.
Biles posted a video to Instagram on Friday of her landing on her back during practice, on cushioned pillows, writing that she had problems “literally at every event, what the hell”.
She said previous bouts of ‘twisties’ had lasted two or more weeks, but there was “honestly no (the) time frame to say”.
Biles, who was bombarded with messages of support following her previous withdrawals, also hit back at critics, saying, “For anyone who says I’ve quit, I haven’t quit. My body and mind are just out of sync, as you can see here. ”
Biles won a silver medal in the women’s team for entering the final.