Simone Biles shows off one of her gold medals at Rio 2016
Simone Biles will return to competition in the balance beam final on Tuesday, a little over a week after stepping away from the meet to focus on her mental health.
The 24-year-old won bronze on beam in Rio five years ago and qualified for the eight-woman final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on the first weekend of the Games.
She removed herself from the team final on July 27 after a shaky performance on vault during the first rotation. She watched from the sidelines as her three American teammates completed the meet without her; the US took silver behind the team known as the Russian Olympic Committee.
The six-time Olympic medalist later said she was dealing with issues surrounding air awareness, referred to as "the twisties" in her sport.
Biles qualified for all five individual event finals but took herself out of four of them: the all-around, vault, floor exercise and uneven bars. Lee earned the gold in the all-around, becoming the fifth straight American to claim the sport’s marquee title.
Considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time and the unquestioned face of the US Olympic movement when she arrived in Japan, Biles continued to train and be evaluated daily by the USA Gymnastics staff after opting out of multiple finals. She has also been a fixture in the stands supporting Lee, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey while they competed in the event finals.
She went into extensive detail about "the twisties" last week, explaining she lost the confidence of knowing what her body was going to do in midair. It’s not the first time Biles dealt with the problem, though she did say the issues followed her to both uneven bars and beam.
Finishing her second Olympics on balance beam is poetic justice of sorts for Biles. She won bronze in Rio despite almost slipping mid-routine. It was her fifth medal at the Games. The other four were gold.
Biles has said that bronze was the one medal she is proudest of, and taken to task those who called it a disappointment, using it as proof to the double standard she believes follows her whenever she competes.
When are the key gymnastics events?
Tuesday, August 3
Women’s beam final: 17:48-18:37 (09:48-10:37 BST)
For other key dates on the schedule, click here.
Where is it?
The Ariake Gymnastics Centre is situated right next to the Olympic Village and is one of the most easily accessible and commutable venues. Although a temporary venue, a sporting arena with a 12,000 seating capacity is scheduled for construction on the site after the Games.
Where can I watch it?
Eurosport are the main European rights holders for broadcasting the Olympics this year although the BBC will still be covering the big moments across their channels.
With Eurosport you will need a subscription. You can add it to your Sky, BT or Virgin contract or sign up to Eurosport Player for direct access.
Telegraph Sport will also be live blogging several gymnastics finals, so you can bookmark this page and come back to it when the action begins.
How did Biles do in the team final?
The USA team was far from their best in qualifying and the Russian Olympic Committee qualified top. Biles came under a lot of heat over her team qualifying in second place – a first for the USA in over a decade at a major competition – but even with an under-par performance, she still scored at the top of the individual standings.
That run-up set the tone for the final which didn’t go according to plan for both the team and Biles, Ahead of the final the American star took to Instagram to admit she had "the weight of the world" on her shoulders.
On the vault Biles attempted a Yurchenko, with one and a half twist – that’s a lower difficulty than usual, only 5.0. It looked very good until a poor landing. She scored 13.766, nearly one point off Akhaimova of the leading ROC.
Biles didn’t look happy or comfortable and not long after left the arena for a few minutes before coming back still looking unhappy. She did not take part in the uneven bars and not long after it was confirmed she would not take any further part in the final.
USA Gymnastics released a statement saying: "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."
Without Biles the USA team were unable to get gold as they finished second, the first time they haven’t won the Olympic title since 2008. The Russian Olympic Committee side won the gold.
Biles then withdrew from her defence of gold in Olympic all-around event to focus on her mental health.
Who are Team GB’s gymnastics hopefuls?
Team GB have a relatively inexperienced women’s gymnastics team in Tokyo, after the somewhat controversial decision to leave out Beckie Downie.
All four gymnasts are making their Olympic debuts – and what a debut it has been with the quartet of 2019 European beam champion Alice Kinsella, twin-sister duo of Jennifer Gadirova and Jessica Gadirova, and 2021 European uneven bars bronze medallist Amelie Morgan securing a surprise bronze in the team finals, the women’s first team Olympic medal since 1928.
The Gadirova twins then went on to perform well in the all-around competition. Jessica making history by becoming the first British woman to finish in the top 10 in the event with her 10th spot. Jennifer finished in a very respectable 13th place. The twins then went on to finish sixth and seventh in the floor final.
In the men’s events, Max Whitlock won gold for Team GB in pommel horse with extraordinary, elegant and dominant display.
The 28-year-old from Hemel Hempstead appeared serene, apparently floating above the fray, but he admitted afterwards the emotional toll had been significant.
“This was the most nervous I’ve been for any competition I’ve done in my whole life,” he said. “Retaining titles is ten times harder than chasing. Today’s proved that to me. Actually it’s a million times harder.”
How have Team GB done in the past?
In Rio, they finished with seven medals, two gold, two silver and three bronze, a record for the team. Max Whitlock won Britain’s first ever gold medals in gymnastics, in men’s floor and pommel horse, while the youngest member of the team, 16-year-old Amy Tinkler, took bronze on floor and Bryony Page won trampoline silver.
It continued an upward trend at recent Games for British gymnasts although they still lag behind others, sitting 24th on the overall medal table, with 15 overall.