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American gymnast Simone Biles won a bronze medal in the women’s balance final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images


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Jamie Squire / Getty Images


American gymnast Simone Biles won a bronze medal in the women’s balance final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

TOKYO – After retiring from several events to focus on her mental health, American gymnast Simone Biles returned to the mat for the balance beam finals on Tuesday at the Tokyo Olympics. And she won a bronze medal.

“I didn’t expect to go with a medal. I just went outside to do it for me and whatever happens, happens,” Biles said after the competition, adding that it “just meant the world would come back outside.” “

Chinese Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing won gold and silver at the last Olympic competition for women’s rhythmic gymnastics.

It is the seventh Olympic medal for Biles, which brought her even with Shannon Miller as the most gymnast-winning American gymnast ever.

Biles says he’s still dealing with “twists”

Biles said last week that she was dealing with a terrible and frightening phenomenon known as twists, where the gymnast may feel lost in the air. She withdrew from the team finals soon after a difficult first jump, and then withdrew from the individual all-around and three other finals.

On Tuesday, she said she was still experiencing the phenomenon. “Every time I watch guys and girls outside, I want to throw up every time I watch them do double-double [a move involving twists] because I can’t figure out how they do it, ”Biles said.

But she found a way to compete on the beam: “I didn’t twist.” That meant reducing the weight of her descent.

Biles looked happy and relieved at the end of her routine on the 4-inch-wide beam, smiling and waving to the crowd to loud applause in the nearly empty stadium.

The judges gave her 14,000 points for the set she scored included a a “wolf turn” and a descent from a double pike.

American star Simone Biles looks relieved as she completes a beam of balance during the finals of the women’s rhythmic gymnastics apparatus on Tuesday at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP


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Natacha Pisarenko / AP


American star Simone Biles looks relieved as she completes a beam of balance during the finals of the women’s rhythmic gymnastics apparatus on Tuesday at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP

Biles is still sorting out how he feels and why it happened

“I really don’t know how I’m feeling right now. I just feel like I have to go home and work on myself and be okay with what happened,” Biles said.

It was a shock when there was a sudden mismatch between her body and mind, she said. “That’s what I couldn’t wrap my head around. What happened, was I tired and, simply, where the wires didn’t connect?”

“It was really hard because it was like I was training my whole life. I was physically ready. I was fine,” Biles said. “Then this happens, and it’s something that was out of my control.”

She said she began to feel the effects of twisting the day after qualifying as she practiced tumbling. “And then the wires just broke.”

American gymnast and individual all-around champion Sunisa Lee also competed on the beam on Tuesday. She started her routine cleanly and saved herself from a recent fall in the final seconds, scoring 13,866. In the end, she took fifth place.

“I’m really proud of myself. I’m actually super happy with how this turned out,” Lee said. “I really love Simone and just having her by my side was great because she’s my role model.”

Biles talks about withdrawal difficulties

“It wasn’t easy to retire from all those competitions. I wasn’t physically and mentally in the right place and I didn’t want to endanger my health or my safety because at the end of the day it’s not worth it,” Biles said. “My mental and physical health are above all the medals I could ever win.”

Biles said she was embarrassed to retire and did not expect such an outpouring of support from her fellow athletes and fans.

“Especially when we went to [Olympic] Village … everyone approached me and told me, for example, how much I thought and how much I did with them, like I was crying in the Olympic store because I just didn’t expect it, ”Biles said.

She added that she is not currently thinking in advance about the 2024 Paris Olympics – she will continue to take care of herself.


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