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Biles wobbles but still impresses

Sports 26 Jul, 2021 Follow News

Simone Biles is expected to get better after qualifying

Simone Biles did not live up to her usual exceptional standards as the USA finished second behind the Russian Olympic Committee in women's gymnastics team qualifying.

Biles was penalised on both floor and vault as her team finished on 170.526, behind the leaders' mark of 171.629.

But the 24-year-old star has still reached all five individual finals, starting with Thursday's all-around. Biles, the most successful US gymnast of all time and winner of four golds and a bronze in Rio, opened her qualifying campaign on the floor with her usual exciting brand of tumbling. But she bounced right out of the competition area at one point and will need to manage that in the final.

She was deducted 0.3 points and her score of 14.133 leaves her behind Italian veteran Vanessa Ferrari, who, at 30, is competing in her fourth Games and scored 14.166.

Biles' 15.183 on the vault puts her in top spot on the apparatus behind team-mate Jade Carey (15.166), but in both the bars - arguably her weakest event - and the beam, she scored lower than compatriot Suni Lee.

However, her overall tally of 57.731 means she tops the all-around standings ahead of Brazil's Rebeca Andrade (57.399), with Lee qualifying third (57.166).

"Simone took three big steps on the beam dismount, I've never seen her do that before," said US performance director Tom Forster.

"We're going to be OK. This is not the finals; this is getting into the finals. This might be a great awakening for us."

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