Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Simone Biles set to compete in beam final

Simone Biles will compete in Tuesday’s beam final as she targets an individual medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Simone Biles with USA colleague Jordan Chiles
Simone Biles with USA colleague Jordan Chiles

The 24-year-old has withdrawn from four other finals and hasn’t participated since last week’s team final where she performed on vault but then withdrew from the remainder of the event, saying she wanted to look after her mental health.

The four-time Olympic champion later revealed she had been struggling with “the twisties”, a type of mental block that affects gymnasts.

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Biles won bronze on the beam at Rio 2016 and arrived in Tokyo chasing six golds – a realistic target for someone who has dominated the sport in recent years.

After failing to complete the planned number of twists during her vault display, the American gymnast sat out the rest of the event, staying in the arena to cheer on her team-mates before collecting a silver medal as the defending champions finished second behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

In the aftermath she explained that her decision had been due to a need to focus on her mental health.

Biles then withdrew from the all-round final and the uneven bars, vault, and floor individual finals.

She now has a chance to win a seventh Olympic medal when she competes in tomorrow’s beam final.

Biles has received widespread support from her fellow athletes and personalities around the world.

Team GB swimmer Adam Peaty announced he is taking a break from sport to “mentally recharge”, and cited Biles’ struggles as part of his reason for taking time out to focus on other matters ahead of his journey to the Paris 2024 Games.

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