07/25/2021 8:44 AM
Updated 07/25/2021 8:44 AM
The problems started early for Simone Biles and the US Artistic Gymnastics team on the first day of activity at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. One step off the line in the floor exercise around here, one extra jump on the col over there. And, for two hours Sunday, they kept building up, wearing away the aura that American gymnastics built over the past decade.
Not even the greatest of all time was immune to the realities of a sport where perfection is unattainable
For 11 years, American women have flirted with her, competitively at least, traveling the world and returning home with suitcases full of gold.
This could also happen in Tokyo.
But for the first time in a long time, it seems like it won't happen without having to fight for it.
Simone Biles seeks to enlarge her legend at Tokyo 2020.
To the general amazement, Russia performed an excellent preliminary phase and received the best marks, more than one point more than those of the Americans.
Although reigning Olympic champion Simone Biles led the competition and her partner Sunisa Lee was second,
for the first time since the 2010 World Cups, the United States saw another name above theirs in the team standings.
"This was not the final," said Tom Forster, the US team's high-performance coordinator.
"This is to get to the final. So it could be a great warning for us and we will take advantage of it."
Biles, in action.
Before an almost empty Ariake Gymnastics Center,
not even Biles was immune to mistakes
The 24-year-old gymnast got the highest score with 57,731 and advanced to the final on various apparatus, but it wasn't easy.
He came off the mat after a pirouette in his floor exercise.
Her 14,133 were worse than Italian Vanessa Ferrari's 14,166 in the morning session.
And then he did much the same on the colt.
After the half turn he made when he left the round, he faced the colt slightly lopsided and landed on the left.
Her second jump was much better, nailed, and she got an average of 15,183 that put her in the lead.
He responded with a solid exercise on the uneven bars, although with the least demand of his exercise he stayed at 14.566.
And he finished a spectacular beam routine by taking three big steps back after coming down, something that, according to Forster, he had never done before.
Biles showed that she is human in the preliminary phase of artistic gymnastics.
Biles, who came to Japan as the United States Olympic benchmark, greeted the judges and
left with a smile that drew a mixture of relief, sarcasm and frustration
Supported by her ground and jump notes, despite the mistakes, Biles is provisionally the first in the individual general, followed by her compatriot Sunisa Lee and Russian Angelina Melnikova.
However, in the team aggregate, the North Americans Biles, Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum and Jordan Chiles added 170,562 points that were not enough to improve the 171,629 of the Russians.
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