In the absence of gymnastics superstar Simone Biles, package for the all-around gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics, her compatriot Sunisa Lee succeeded her on Thursday and perpetuated American domination in the event which has lasted since 2004 without interruption.
An absence on the floor but not in the stands since, a bit surreal image in the Ariake Gymnastics Center in Tokyo, Biles was in the stands to encourage her compatriots, but also the other competitors, applauding the exercise on the ground of Angelina Melnikova and by Rebeca Andrade.
The full Olympic program
The Olympic medal table
At 18 and from her first Olympics, Sunisa Lee did not crack under the pressure and responded present: she was ahead with 57.433 points the Brazilian Rebeca Andrade (57.298 points) and the Russian Angelina Melnikova (57.199 points).
Before her, Carly Patterson, in 2004, Nastia Liukin, in 2008, Gabrielle Douglas, in 2012, and Biles in 2016, won what is considered the most prestigious title in gymnastics.
In June, during the US selections for the Olympics, Lee had passed Simone Biles in one of the competitions, a rare fact as all the competitors, both American and world, often only count on a second place when they are opposed to the quadruple Olympic champion.
In Tokyo, the young gymnast, from the Hmong community in America, once again impressed in the exercise of uneven bars, her favorite apparatus.
She got the best score there with 15.300 points. In vaulting, she also signed a solid 14.600 points.
On the other hand, it can still be improved on the ground, with a 13.700 which only places 5th in the hierarchy on this apparatus.
I am very disappointed with myself, because I could have done a lot better
Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos
The French Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos finished 11th, while she finished 8th in qualifying. She was below her level on beam when she was crowned European champion last spring. Likewise on the ground, where she won European gold in 2018 and 2019. "
I'm very disappointed with myself, because I could have done a lot better,
" she said. “
But I was overcome by stress, since there was a stake: to take third place. I put too much pressure on myself and I couldn't handle it. I think I held on well, I didn't fall, so I can be proud of myself for that. Like on the last apparatus where I didn't want to end up on something bad.
The second French competitor, Carolann Héduit, 17, slipped just behind her in 12th place.