Gymnast Biles’s Olympics in doubt after second pull-out over mental health


Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus has two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics

US superstar Simone Biles pulled out of a second Tokyo Olympics gymnastics competition to protect her mental health on Wednesday, raising serious doubt over her participation in the rest of the Games.

A day after her shock exit from the team event, USA Gymnastics said the 24-year-old had also withdrawn from the individual all-around competition at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

But she withdrew from the team competition after a shaky opening vault, and her struggles mean she may be unable to add to the four gold medals she won at the 2016 Rio Games.

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The US federation said a decision on whether Biles, who will be replaced by Jade Carey, would compete in individual event finals would be taken following daily evaluation.

After pulling out of the team event on Tuesday, in which she won a silver as a result of starting the final, Biles said she had to “do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health”.

Support for the gymnast poured in from around the world following her withdrawal from the team final.

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao tweeted: “Once a champion, always a champion. God Bless @Simone_Biles.”

– Ledecky hits back –

Katie Ledecky, who won four gold medals at the Rio 2016 Games, lost her 200m freestyle crown to Ariarne Titmus, two days after also ceding her 400m title to the Australian.

Ledecky, 24, is the fourth female swimmer to claim six Olympic gold medals, with her first coming in the 800m freestyle at the London 2012 Games.

The 20-year-old, who touched in a new Olympic record time of 1min 53.50sec, still has the 800m freestyle and the 4x200m relay to go in a gruelling programme.

Britain’s freestyle swimmers brought the morning session to a thrilling climax, narrowly missing out on a world record in the 4x200m freestyle as they beat the Russian team by more than three seconds.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s time trial on the course around Mount Fuji after being left red-faced on Sunday when she mistakenly thought she had won the road race.

New Zealand crushed Britain 29-7 while Fiji saw off the challenge of Argentina 26-14.

In men’s basketball, the United States bounced back to hammer Iran 120-66 after they fell to a strong French team for their first Olympic defeat in 17 years.

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