Tuesday morning marked the last time we got to watch our favorite gymnasts compete at the Tokyo Olympic. The final day of gymnastics event finals promised to be special as Simone Biles made her return to the competition floor — and it didn’t disappoint.
The 24-year-old, who withdrew from the women’s team final and other individual events to focus on her mental health upon experiencing the “twisties,” earned a bronze medal on the balance beam with a strong performance and a score of 14.000.
Biles also earned a bronze medal in beam at the 2016 Rio Games. With the newest addition to her hardware collection, she ties Shannon Miller as the most decorated Olympian in American gymnastics history. While each gymnast has seven medals to her name, Biles has more golds (4) than Miller (2).
All-around gold medalist Suni Lee also competed on beam, finishing in fifth place with a score of 13.866.
We have you covered with all the action you might have missed as the curtain closed on the sport in Tokyo:
Biles earns bronze, seventh career Olympic medal
Simone Biles is a bronze medalist again, after matching her result in the balance beam final from Rio. With this, her seventh Olympic medal, Biles becomes the most accomplished American Olympic gymnast in history.
The story of the night was not what color medal Biles earned, but the fact that, after a week no one could have predicted, she returned to competition under the greatest of pressure and scrutiny and showed why she is the sport’s greatest star.
SIMONE BILES WINS BRONZE IN THE BALANCE BEAM ?
That’s her seventh career Olympic medal, tying her with Shannon Miller for the most by any athlete in gymnastics in Team USA history ? pic.twitter.com/fvdiVW6j0Z
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 3, 2021
SIMONE?? BILES?? *all the applause* So awesome to see you back up there! You have so much to be proud of! Your resilience is so inspiring! ♥️ @Simone_Biles ??????
— Simone Manuel (@swimone) August 3, 2021
All smiles for Biles! ?
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 3, 2021
simone biles is an absolute QUEEN
— Katelyn Ohashi (@katelyn_ohashi) August 3, 2021
Biles last competed in Tokyo one week ago. She withdrew from last Tuesday’s team final after one rotation and then scratched from the all-around, vault, floor and uneven bar finals to focus on her mental and physical health. She continued to train at a nearby gym and shared her struggles to overcome “the twisties,” a dangerous disconnect between the mind and body that causes gymnasts to become disoriented in the air during twisting skills. Unlike the other three events, beam features minimal twisting and Biles downgraded her dismount from the “Biles” — a double-twisting double tuck — to a double pike.
Couldn’t be more proud of you! Congrats gorgeous?❤️ https://t.co/cdi2KRWQWJ
— MyKayla Skinner (Harmer) (@mykaylaskinner) August 3, 2021
proud is an understatement
you did that, I love ya so much?. I literally bald my eyes out cause I am so happy for you! pic.twitter.com/CahUwef3zh
— Jordan Chiles (@ChilesJordan) August 3, 2021
Biles performed third in the event and took a deep breath before mounting the beam and performed with confidence. When she landed her dismount, she took a big hop backward, a massive smile on her face and then grabbed her heart in relief. She hugged her coach, waved to the photographers and toward the crowd and hugged her teammate. Her 14.00 — just .066 lower than her qualifying score — moved her into second place.
— FIG (@gymnastics) August 3, 2021
Biles remained in second until the final gymnast of the night, Guan Chenchen of China, mounted the beam. The 16-year-old topped qualifying and performed a routine with the highest difficulty in the meet. Aside from a few small form breaks, she was elegant and masterful and nailed her double pike landing. She earned a 14.633 for gold. China’s Tang Xijing took silver.
An @Olympics champion at just 16-years-old! ?
— FIG (@gymnastics) August 3, 2021
New all-around champion Suni Lee had a clean routine going until she lost her footing on the final landing of her difficult acro sequence. She fought to hold on and somehow stayed on the beam. With that mistake, though, she took herself out of medal contention and finished the meet in fifth. — Alyssa Roenigk
- Guan Chenchen, China – 14.633
- Tang Xijing, China – 14.233
- Simone Biles, USA – 14.000
- Elsabeth Black, Canada – 13.866
- Sunisa Lee, USA – 13.866
- Urara Ashikawa, Japan – 13.733
- Flavia Saraiva, Brazil – 13.133
- Vladislava Urazova, ROC – 12.733
Men’s high bar: Hashimoto wins another gold for Japan
Olympic all-around champion Daiki Hashimoto, the first-place qualifier into finals, took the top spot in a high bar final that saw half the field have at least one fall.
— FIG (@gymnastics) August 3, 2021
Hashimoto threw nearly perfect tucked and laid out full-twisting Kovacs, then stuck his double-twisting double layout dismount for a 15.066, the only score above 15. Croatia’s Tin Srbic nailed four reverse hecht variations in a row and nearly stuck his full-twisting double layout for the silver, while ROC team’s Nikita Nagornyy earned bronze with a lower difficulty score than the top two.
American Brody Malone hit all of his releases and was on his way to a great routine when he had a break at the end and ended up going the wrong way. He scored a 14.200 for fourth, just out of the medals. — Amy Van Deusen
- Daiki Hashimoto, Japan – 15.066
- Tin Srbic, Croatia – 14.900
- Nikita Nagornyy, ROC – 14.533
- Brody Malone, USA – 14.200
- Tyson Bull, Australia – 12.466
- Takeru Kitazono, Japan – 12.333
- Bart Deurloo, Netherlands – 12.266
- Milad Karimi, Kazakhstan – 11.266
Biles is back
Insert GOAT emoji here. Simone Biles made her return to the competition floor with a strong performance on beam. Her score of 14.00 put her in second place behind Tang Xijing (14.233) with five gymnasts still to go.
14 flat, folks. ?
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) August 3, 2021
After her dismount, Biles smiled and put her hand over her heart before running to embrace her coach.
Simone Biles smiling again.
You love to see it ❤️ pic.twitter.com/GcT8Hsm18P
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 3, 2021
Men’s parallel bars: Zou wins easily, with the top score of the Olympics
Zou Jingyuan of China earned Tuesday’s first gold medal on parallel bars after earning an enormous 16.233 — the highest score so far on any event in gymnastics. The 2017 and 2018 world champion on the event took a tiny step on his double front-half dismount but otherwise was nearly perfect, winning by more than five tenths of a point.
Lukas Dauser of Germany competed last and slipped into the silver-medal spot with a 15.700, and Ferhat Arıcan of Turkey took the bronze with a 15.633. It was the first gymnastics medal for Turkey at the Olympic Games, and Arıcan was greeted by huge cheers from his country’s contingent in the stands when the final results were posted.
Sam Mikulak, the lone American on the event, finished in sixth with a 15.000. The 28-year-old previously said this would be his final Olympics and he was given a standing ovation from his teammates and members of the women’s team in the stands. He smiled and gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to the camera after his score was announced. — D’Arcy Maine
- Zou Jingyuan, China – 16.233
- Lukas Dauser, Germany – 15.700
- Ferhat Arican, Turkey – 15.633
- You Hao, China – 15.466
- David Belyavskiy, ROC – 15.200
- Sam Mikulak, USA – 15.000
- Petro Pakhniuk, Ukraine – 14.533
- Joe Fraser, Great Britain – 14.500
Lee’s fam shows support
Meanwhile, back home in St. Paul, Minnesota, Suni Lee’s family stayed up late to watch the American on her final apparatus of the Games.
It’s almost 4 am and some of @sunisalee_ family haven’t gone to sleep yet. They’re waiting for her final event, the beam. She’s competing with her teammate Simone Biles. #sunrisers pic.twitter.com/8V8oI4sfcR
— Gia Vang (@Gia_Vang) August 3, 2021
Biles looks good in warm-ups
— FIG (@gymnastics) August 3, 2021
All eyes were on Simone Biles during warm-ups ahead of Tuesday’s beam finals. She stretched on the floor before doing several run-throughs of her routine on beam.
Her first turn appeared mainly to get comfortable on the beam, and she spent much of the time visualizing and pantomiming various skills and moves. Her second turn, just moments later, was a full routine and there were no outward signs of struggle. She finished with a nearly stuck double-pike dismount.
Biles looked largely at ease, talking and laughing with Suni Lee while not on the beam. The two even watched highlights of other Olympic events on the video board after they had finished warming up on the apparatus. Biles will be the third competitor on the event, and Lee will be immediately after. — D’Arcy Maine
One more time
And just like that, we were on to the last day of apparatus finals. All-around champions Hashimoto Daiki (Japan) and Suni Lee (USA) were back in action as titles were decided on parallel bars, balance beam, and horizontal bar. Not to take away from American men’s gymnasts Sam Mikulak (parallel bars) and Brody Malone (horizontal bar), but all eyes were on the last event of the women’s individual finals, because Simone Biles was back. The GOAT joined newly minted gold medalist Suni Lee in representing for Team USA on the beam.
Beam is the lone apparatus where past results haunt Biles. Despite being the reigning world champion on beam, it was the only event of Rio 2016 in which the four-time Olympic gold medalist made a real mistake (she still won the bronze).
As for Lee, she was third in qualification behind specialist Guan Chenchen (China) and Tang Xijing (China), who represented a country that was still searching for its first women’s individual medal of these Games. China’s only gold on balance beam to date was won by Deng Linlin at London 2012. — Tory Barron
4 a.m. ET: Men’s parallel bars
4:50 a.m. ET: Women’s beam
5:39 a.m. ET: Men’s high bar
Men’s vault: Shin ekes out gold
The competition was full of mind-boggling vaults, but in the end, South Korea’s Shin Jeahwan edged ROC team’s Denis Abliazin for the gold medal. Though the two tied in average score, Shin won the tiebreak because he had the highest single score on a vault (a 14.833 for his front handspring 2½ twist vs. Abliazin’s 14.800 for his Tsukahara double pike).
— FIG (@gymnastics) August 2, 2021
Armenia’s Artur Davtyan won the first Olympic medal in gymnastics for his country with a bronze and a 14.733 average. Turkey’s Adem Asil threw a jaw-dropping front handspring double pike half to earn a 15.266, the highest score of any vault in any round of the Olympics. But he put his hands down on his second vault, a Tsukahara double pike, and ended up sixth. — Amy Van Deusen
- Shin Jeahwan, Korea – 14.783
- Denis Abliazin, ROC – 14.783
- Artur Davtyan, Armenia – 14.733
- Carlos Edriel Yulo, Philippines – 14.716
- Nikita Nagornyy, ROC – 14.716
- Adem Asil, Turkey – 14.449
- Ahmet Onder, Turkey – 14.066
- Caio Souza, Brazil – 13.683
Women’s floor: Carey gets her redemption
American Jade Carey entered the floor final as a gold-medal favorite and she delivered, competing a beautiful laid out double-double first pass, then rocking her tucked double-double and full-twisting double layout as well. With the highest difficulty of the day (four-tenths of a point higher than any other competitor) she competed second and her score held for the rest of the meet.
IM SO PROUD ?❤️ so deserving. https://t.co/4ZrxseSPUH
— Sunisa lee (@sunisalee_) August 2, 2021
NAILED IT ? ?
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 2, 2021
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) August 2, 2021
Thirty-year-old Italian Vanessa Ferrari stuck her first two passes — a tucked double-double and a whip to immediate full-in — absolutely cold, and drew everyone in with her expressive dance. The 2006 world all-around champion earned a 14.200 for the silver.
Japan’s Mai Murakami and the ROC team’s Angelina Melnikova tied for bronze, both with powerful double layouts as their second pass. Melnikova mounted with a gorgeous full-twisting double layout, while Murakami threw a nice tucked double-double. Their matching difficulty and execution scores earned them both the bronze with no tiebreak. — Amy Van Deusen
1. Jade Carey, USA – 14.366
2. Vanessa Ferrari, Italy – 14.200
3. Mai Murakami, Japan – 14.166 | Angelina Melnikova, ROC – 14.166
5. Rebeca Andrade, Brazil – 14.033
6. Jessica Gadirova, Great Britain – 14.000
7. Jennifer Gadirova, Great Britain – 13.233
8. Viktoriia Listunova, ROC – 12.400
Breaking news: Biles on beam!
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!
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 2, 2021
Men’s rings: Chinese men dominate
It was a 1-2 finish for China in the first gymnastics final of the day Monday. Liu Yang took home the gold in rings and You Hao finished with the silver. The duo, who competed back to back, held up a Chinese flag and posed together for photos once the final scores were revealed.
It was the first gold medal for China in artistic gymnastics during the 2020 Games.
Yang, who was the 2014 world champion in the event, took a small hop on the landing of his double-twisting double-tuck dismount landing, but otherwise was nearly flawless and earned a 15.500. Hao finished 0.2 behind with a 15.300.
Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias earned the bronze. — D’Arcy Maine
- Liu Yang, China – 15.500
- You Hao, China – 15.300
- Eleftherios Petrounias, Greece – 15.200
- Samir Ait Said, France – 14.900
- Ibrahim Colak, Turkey – 14.866
- Denis Abliazin, ROC – 14.833
- Adem Asil, Turkey – 14.600
- Arthur Zanetti, Brazil – 14.133
— FIG (@gymnastics) August 2, 2021
Next up: Vault, floor and rings
Monday was the second day of individual event finals, and it was a combination of men’s and women’s events again: men’s rings, women’s floor and men’s vault. The top eight highest-scoring gymnasts from qualifying advanced on each event, with a maximum of two from any one country. The scores didn’t carry over, however — the highest score Monday was crowned Olympic champ.
4 a.m. ET: Men’s rings
4:45 a.m. ET: Women’s floor
5:54 a.m. ET: Men’s vault
Women’s uneven bars: Derwael wins gold; Lee hangs on for bronze
Two-time world champion Nina Derwael, the top qualifier entering the finals, performed her highly difficult, jam-packed routine well to win the event easily for Belgium. She earned a 15.200 score — and her country’s first Olympic gymnastics gold medal in history. The ROC team’s Anastasiia Iliankova hit her routine cleanly for the silver medal — and American Suni Lee held on for bronze.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 1, 2021
Olympic all-around gold medalist Lee was first in the lineup and was a little off from the start, missing the connections on her release moves in more than one section of her routine. Though her quick thinking throughout helped her avoid disaster, it affected her difficulty score. Lee earned a 14.500, seven-tenths of a point lower than her qualifying score.
It appeared several of the gymnasts, Lee included, might have been affected by the reportedly cold arena and lack of a one-touch warm-up. All-around bronze medalist Angelina Melnikova (ROC) couldn’t get over on a pirouette and had to hop off, while China’s Fan Yilin — the 2015 and 2017 world champion on bars — fell on her dismount. — Amy Van Deusen
Former Olympians took to Twitter to express their concern over the temperature and lack of one-touch warm-up ahead of events:
this. it’s melnikova blowing heat onto her hands during vault, for me https://t.co/l42HDUXPWV
— Laurie Hernandez (@LaurieHernandez) August 1, 2021
Seriously, figure it out and give them a one touch. Athlete safety is clearly not your top priority in event finals. It should be.
— Chellsie Memmel (@CMemmel) August 1, 2021
- Nina Derwael, Belgium – 15.200
- Anastasiia Iliankova, ROC – 14.833
- Suni Lee, USA – 14.500
- Lu Yufei, China – 14.400
- Elisabeth Seitz, Germany – 14.400
- Melanie de Jesus dos Santos, France – 14.033
- Fan Yilin, China – 13.900
- Angelina Melnikova, ROC – 13.066
Men’s pommel horse: Whitlock retains title
In the final men’s event of the day, Max Whitlock of Great Britain, a three-time Olympian, repeated as pommel horse champion.
— UK Sport (@uk_sport) August 1, 2021
Competing in the tough opening spot, Whitlock’s routine featured the highest start value in the meet, a 7.0, which was two-tenths higher than any of his competitors. And it was clean. He also earned the second-highest execution score of the night. His 15.583 set a tough bar for the next seven men to clear.
Lee Chih Kai of Chinese Taipei finished in the silver-medal spot and Japan’s Kazuma Kaya earned bronze.
American Alec Yoder, who competed second, was off from the start of his routine. He had a major form break immediately in his routine and seemed to lose focus afterward. His 14.666 was enough to hold him in medal contention until Lee competed. He finished sixth.
Rhys McClenaghan, who earned attention as the funniest gymnast in Tokyo after posting about the “anti-sex beds” in the athletes village, was the first Irish gymnast to make an Olympic final. Unfortunately, he had difficulty throughout his routine and fell from the apparatus. He finished seventh. — Alyssa Roenigk
- Max Whitlock, Great Britain – 15.583
- Lee Chih-kai, Chinese Taipei – 15.400
- Kazuma Kaya, Japan – 14.900
- David Belyavskiy, ROC – 14.833
- Kohei Kameyama, Japan – 14.600
- Alec Yoder, USA – 14.566
- Rhys McClenaghan, Ireland -13.100
- Sun Wei, China – 13.066
Women’s vault: Andrade continues to wow, and Skinner’s unlikely Olympic medal
One week ago, MyKayla Skinner thought that her Olympic competition had ended in the qualification round. Sunday, she stood on an Olympic podium, a silver medalist on vault.
YESSS SO PROUD OF MY GRANDMA OMG ?❤️ https://t.co/NNaIkU244U
— Sunisa lee (@sunisalee_) August 1, 2021
Vaulting into Olympic history! ??
If you just woke up and checked your timeline, SMILE, MyKayla Skinner (@mykaylaskinner) just took home ?!
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 1, 2021
With defending Olympic vault champion Simone Biles — whose withdrawal placed Skinner into the event — loudly cheering her on from the stands, Skinner opened the meet with a clean Cheng. It was her best vault of the Games and earned a 15.033, a higher score than either of her vaults during qualifying. On her second vault, an Amanar, Skinner took a slight hop to the left on her landing but kept her feet in bounds, good enough for a 14.8 and an overall score of 14.916.
Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, coming off her silver-medal performance in the all-around, competed two gymnasts later with the same vaults and more amplitude, besting Skinner by a little over a 10th of a point and ultimately edging her for gold. Brazil had never won an Olympic medal in women’s gymnastics until earlier this week, and now Andrade has won two.
Rebeca Andrade of #BRA wins a second medal at @Tokyo2020!#Gold in the #ArtisticGymnastics women’s vault final – a first for Brazil!#StrongerTogether | #Tokyo2020 | @gymnastics pic.twitter.com/hNBhjFaGqv
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 1, 2021
Unlike in qualifying and team competition, gymnasts are not provided with what is known as a “one-touch warm-up” or a last-minute opportunity to warm up on the competition apparatus immediately before they compete. That rule has been highly debated, as the conversation at these Games has centered around athlete health and safety, especially in gymnastics.
can we please bring back one touch warm ups for finals. please.
it’s a safety hazard for everybody to just… go out and compete with cold muscles. we do we even do it
— Laurie Hernandez (@LaurieHernandez) August 1, 2021
On American Jade Carey’s first vault, she misstepped on the runway as she approached the springboard and somehow had the wherewithal to throw just a tuck off the table. She saved her body from injury, but the mistake ended her night. Immediately, gymnastics fans took to Twitter to call for #onetouchfinals. Impressively, though, Carey regrouped, went back to the start of the runway and performed a beautiful Amanar. Her dad, Brian, who is also her coach, hugged her tightly and consoled her after her turn.
Forever proud of this girl! I love youuu!! pic.twitter.com/5uEcoYmDjQ
— Grace McCallum (@grace_mccallum2) August 1, 2021
Korean gymnast Yeo Seo-jeong performed a vault named for her and — 25 years after her father took silver in the event at the 1996 Games — earned the bronze. — Alyssa Roenigk
- Rebeca Andrade, Brazil – 15.083
- MyKayla Skinner, USA – 14.916
- Yeo Seo-jeong, Korea – 14.733
- Alexa Moreno, Mexico – 14.716
- Angelina Melnikova, ROC – 14.683
- Liliia Akhaimova, ROC – 14.666
- Shallon Olsen, Canada – 13.066
- Jade Carey, USA – 12.416
Men’s floor exercise: History for Israel
In the first of four gymnastics event finals on Sunday at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Artem Dolgopyat of Israel won the gold medal on floor.
It was the first medal ever for Israel in gymnastics and is the country’s lone gold medal of the 2020 Olympics thus far, and third medal overall.
Dolgopyat, the 2020 European Champion on the event, had the highest score in qualifying and continued his dominance on Sunday. His mark was tied with Spain’s Rayderley Zapata, but Dolgopyat won the second tiebreak because of a higher difficulty score.
Zapata earned the silver medal, and Ruoteng Xiao of China won the bronze.
Yul Moldauer, the only American in the competition, finished in sixth place out of eight. He stuck all but one of his tumbling passes, but he caught his foot during a flair sequence. — D’Arcy Maine
- Artem Dolgopyat, Israel – 14.933
- Rayderley Zapata, Spain – 14.933
- Ruoteng Xiao, China – 14.766
- Sunghyun Ryu, South Korea – 14.233
- Milad Karimi, Kazakhstan – 14.133
- Yul Moldauer, USA – 13.533
- Nikita Nagornyy, ROC – 13.066
- Hansol Kim, South Korea – 13.066
Let the individual event finals begin
Sunday was the first day of individual event finals, and it was a combination of men’s and women’s events. The top eight highest-scoring gymnasts from qualifying advanced on each event, with a maximum of two per country. The preliminary scores were erased, however. The highest score on Sunday won.
The schedule — hope you had your coffee on hand for this one:
4 a.m. ET: men’s floor
4:45 a.m. ET: women’s vault
5:45 a.m. ET: men’s pommel horse
6:27 a.m. ET: women’s uneven bars
me & the guy getting ready for a great weekend of pommel horse ahead?? pic.twitter.com/quzpISLFJn
— Alec Yoder (@AlecYoder) July 26, 2021
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 ❤️ It’s go time baby!
— MyKayla Skinner (Harmer) (@mykaylaskinner) July 31, 2021
Could you tell us more about the Americans?
Funny you should ask. By this point, you’ve probably heard of Suni Lee. But if you haven’t, you should definitely check out this story on her impressive all-around win. There is also a video of her and her dad doing backflips that we can’t recommend strongly enough.
Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner both qualified to Tokyo as individual competitors, and both have had wild rides during this Olympics. Skinner thought her Olympic experience was over after the qualifying rounds, while Carey took Biles’ spot in the all-around when Biles withdrew.
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