Biles returns to competition and collects bronze in balance beam final

American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles has won the bronze medal in her only individual final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Biles scored 14.0 in the women’s balance beam final to take third behind Chinese pair Chenchen Guan and Xijing Tang.

The 24-year-old Biles had qualified for all five individual event finals but took herself out of four of them — the all-around, vault, floor exercise and uneven bars — to focus on her mental health.

There were loud cheers as Biles was introduced and she executed a near-flawless performance.

The American was in second position until the final competitor, 16-year-old Chenchen, produced the best routine of the night to jump into first with a score of 14.633.

Biles won bronze on the beam in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and qualified for the eight-woman final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on the first weekend of the Games.

But last Tuesday she removed herself from the team final after a shaky performance on the vault during the first rotation.

She watched from the sidelines as her three American teammates completed the meet without her; the US took silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

She later withdrew from all other competitions except for the beam.

The seven-time Olympic medallist said she was dealing with issues surrounding air awareness, referred to as “the twisties” in her sport.

More to come. 

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