Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles was replaced in the US team after starting Tuesday’s Olympic women’s team final in Tokyo.
“Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” USA Gymnastics had said in a statement.
But the gymnastics superstar confirmed that “mental health” concerns had led to her withdrawal from the women’s team final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
“I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and my wellbeing,” the 24-year-old American said after her team were beaten by the Russian quartet in her absence.
Biles exited the final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre after a lacklustre opening vault and walked off the competition floor before returning a short time later.
The US team immediately withdrew her from the rest of the final.
After she joined her teammates to collect their silver medals, four-time Olympic champion Biles confirmed she had not been injured.
She said: “I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to, and I don’t know if it’s age. I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics.
“I feel like I’m also not having as much fun, and I know that this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself,” she said, as she began to cry.
“It just sucks that it happens here at the Olympics Games… with the year that it’s been, I’m really not surprised the way it played out.”
The four-time gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Games produced a below par opening vault and then briefly left the competition floor, before returning to join her teammates.
Gymnastics’ ruling body the FIG confirmed on Twitter: “After one routine Simone Biles will sit out the rest of the women’s team final.”
Biles qualified for all six finals available to her but her performance had uncharacteristic mistakes and she had posted on Instagram saying it wasn’t an easy day or her best.
With AFP inputs
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