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US gymnastics great Biles out of two more Olympic finals

Agence France-Presse
US gymnastics great Biles out of two more Olympic finals
USA's Simone Biles waves after the artistic gymnastics women's all-around final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 29, 2021.
Loic Venance / AFP

TOKYO – Simone Biles has pulled out of two more Olympic finals at the Tokyo Games, USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Saturday, with her entire campaign now in serious doubt.

The 24-year-old gymnastics great came to Tokyo seeking five gold medals to equal the Olympic all-time career record of nine, but withdrew during the women's team competition and also skipped her all-around title defense, citing mental health issues.

That left Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games, with a potential four more medal events in Tokyo, but she pulled out of two of those on Saturday.

"After further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars," the USAG statement said.

"She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam."

Biles said on Friday she was struggling with the "twisties", the mental block that has sidelined her in Tokyo.

The US federation said MyKayla Skinner would compete in the vault finals alongside Jade Carey.

"We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances," the statement said.

Biles posted video on Instagram on Friday of her landing on her back in training, on cushioned pads, and wrote that she was having problems "literally on every event, which sucks".

She said previous bouts of “twisties” had taken two or more weeks to pass, but there was "honestly no telling (the) time frame".

Biles, who was bombarded with messages of support after her earlier pullouts, also hit back at critics, saying: "For anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit. My mind and body are simply not in sync as you can see here."

Biles won a silver medal in the women's team event because she started the final.

2021 TOKYO OLYMPICS GYMNASTICS SIMONE BILES
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