2020 Tokyo Olympics gymnastics: Simone Biles wins bronze in balance beam final

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U.S. gymnast Simone Biles made her return to Olympic action on Tuesday, and in the process earned her whopping seventh career medal with a third-place finish in the women's balance beam final. The bronze medal ties Biles with Sharon Miller for the most women's gymnastics medals in U.S. history. 

This marked Biles' return from a break that saw her miss four finals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for mental-health related issues. She overcame the "twisties," a yips-like issue gymnasts often face, to post a strong score -- a 14.00 -- and earn her second bronze medal in the event. Biles also finished third in the 2016 Rio Games.

Biles, who admitted this bronze felt "sweeter" than her last, told the Tokyo media she was satisfied with the result. 

"I don't get why people diminish silver and bronze," Biles said.

China's Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing, the presumptive favorites because they dominated in the qualifying round, live up to the hype and finished 1-2 in the balance beam final with scores of 14.633 and 14.233, respectively.

Suni Lee, Biles' teammate who won the all-around final for Team USA earlier in the Games, posted a 13.866 to finish fifth in the balance beam final. The 18-year-old has made quite an Olympic debut, winning silver with her team along with a gold and now a bronze as an individual.

Biles opened the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a silver medal in the team competition, and, though it took a winding road to get there, she'll close the Games with another piece of Olympic hardware. The 24-year-old has yet to decide if it'll be her last or if she'll return for more in the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

"I need to process this first," Biles said. "It was a lot." 

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Nothing short of a brave, remarkable comeback for Biles, who missed the previous four finals with the "twisties." What a way to tie for the most Olympic medals in U.S. women's gymnastics history.

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China's Chenchen Guan nails her routine to earn a 14.633 and gold, giving her country two medalists. Her teammate, Tang, earned silver with a 14.233 while Biles took home bronze with a 14.

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August 3, 2021, 9:40 AM
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With only one gymnast to go and her second-place position, Biles has secured herself a seventh career medal. That ties her with Shannon Miller for the most medals by any U.S. gymnast.

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On Biles' attempt, the judges awarded her 6.1 points for difficulty and 7.9 points for execution. Lee's difficulty (6.4) earned a higher score but her execution (7.466) wasn't as strong.

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We're underway in the final women's gymnastics event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the women's balance beam final. Simone Biles, making her return after a mental-heath related absence, posted a 14.00 in her attempt. That trails only China's Xijing Tang (14.233) thus far. American Suni Lee recorded the fourth best score, a 13.866, out of the first six gymnasts.

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August 3, 2021, 9:19 AM
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