Simone Biles’ Olympics in doubt as she withdraws from vault and uneven bars

Simone Biles’s further participation in the Tokyo Olympics looks even cloudier after USA Gymnastics confirmed she will not compete in the finals of the vault or uneven bars.

“After further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement issued on Saturday morning in Tokyo. “She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam.”

Biles had already withdrawn from the women’s team final and the individual all-around competition citing mental health concerns. In an Instagram story on Friday she gave further details of a mental block that has stopped her competing at her second Olympics. A video showed her trying and failing to land dismounts from the uneven bars.

“For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit, my mind and body are simply not in sync as you can see here,” she wrote. “I don’t think you realise how dangerous this is on a hard/competition surface. Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.”

She said she has suffered similar problems in the past but never in serious competition. On Friday, she said there was no exact timeframe for the problems to resolve themselves. She said on occasion it has taken weeks to get back to normal but it is “something you have to take literally day by day, turn by turn. Literally cannot tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body. What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air, I have no idea how I’m going to land or what I’m going to land on – head/hands/feet back.”

Biles had qualified for all four event finals – the uneven bars, vault, floor and beam – but it remains to be seen if she will be able to add to the four Olympic golds she won at the Rio Games in 2016.

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