Tokyo Olympics Gymnastics - Balance Beam Highlights: Guan Chenchen wins gold for a China 1-2; Simone Biles takes bronze

China's Guan Chenchen wins gold, Tang Zijing gets the silver and Simone Biles takes the bronze in women's balance beam final

USA's Simone Biles attends a training session prior the artistic gymnastics women's balance beam final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on August 3, 2021.   -  AFP

Welcome to Sportstar's Live coverage of the women's balance beam final in the artistics gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics.

The final gets underway from 2:20 PM IST and will mark the return of six-time Olympic medallist Simone Biles.

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Live Updates:

Simone Biles, for all the uncertainties and mental blockers, pulled her sleeved up and gave it her all in the beam today. You could almost sense those moments of doubt in her eyes as she got on to the beam and starts with her wolf turns, but she grew in confidence as her routine progressed and flashed a wide smile as she finished with a clean dismount. That she came out to perform in a final after a week away battling her inner demons speaks volumes of her mental fortitude. Thank you for joining us.

MEDALS: China's Guan Chenchen wins gold, Tang Zijing gets the silver and Simone Biles takes the bronze in women's balance beam.

  • China's Guan Chenchen does it again! The 16-year-old top qualifier finishes with a beautiful and flawless double pike. No landing difficulty at all. It is China 1-2 as Guan gets a 14.633 with a difficulty score of 6.600 and an execution of 8.033.

 

  • Brazil's Flavia Saraiva loses balance a few times during her routine for a total of 13.133 (D: 5.700, E: 7.433)

 

  • Russian Urazova, who was among the best on the beam during the all-round final, fails to replicate the form in the apparatus final. Has few balancing issues, does a hop to end and gets a score of 12. 733 (D 5.000, E: 7.733). Simone Biles stays second! 

 

  • Japan's Urara Ashikawa gets a 13.733 (with a difficulty score of 5.900 and execution total of 7.833). Biles is still on the second spot with three gymnasts yet to come.

 

  • Biles' teammate and the all-round gold medallist Sunisa Lee is up next. She has a bit of a wobble on the side aerial and a bit of a jerk while dismounting. She finishes with a score of 13.866. (D: 6.400, E: 7.466). Scores are level with Ellie Black on the combined total. 

 

  • The most expected moment is here: Simone Biles is on the beam. She gets a score of 14.000 with a 6.100 for difficulty and 7.900 for execution. She goes for a 3/1 wolf turn, Front aerial jumps, Back handspring to two layout stepouts. Switch to switch 1/2, pause, back pike. Side aerial. And two back handsprings to a double pike dismount. She misses one connection in her routines for an under-8 execution score. That's incredible for someone dealing with twisties! She is currently placed second.

 

  • Next up is China's Tang Xijing who finished second in the qualifying. She does a clean routine and gets a handsome 14.233. (D: 6.000; E: 8.233) for her nearly flawless routine.

 

  • Canada's Black begins the proceedings. She gets a score of 13.866 (Difficulty: 6.200, Execution 7.666). That's quite a credible effort from someone who had to pull out of the all-round final due to a sprained ankle. She is competing in her third games.

 

  • Starting order: 1 Ellie Black (CAN), 2 Tang Xijing (CHN), 3 Simone Biles (USA), 4 Sunisa Lee (USA), 5 Urara Ashikawa (JPN), 6 Vladislava Urazova (ROC), 7 Flávia Saraiva (BRA), 8 Guan Chenchen (CHN)

 

Here's how the eight finalists fared in the qualifying round:

  1. Guan Chenchen(CHN): 14.933
  2. Tang Xijing(CHN): 14:333
  3. Sunisa Lee(USA): 14.200
  4. Larisa Iordache(ROM): 14.133
  5. Elsabeth Black(CAN): 14.100
  6. Simone Biles(USA): 14.066
  7. Vladislava Urazova (ROC): 14:000
  8. Flavia Saraiva(BRA): 13.966

Simone Biles had large stumble on her full-twisting double back dismount and finished sixth in the qualifying round.

Format:

Each routine will receive points for difficulty and execution and the two will be added together to produce final scores.

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Simone Biles had pulled herself out of the all-around, vault, floor exercise and uneven bars finals to focus on her mental health. She is going to give beam a shot during the final day of competition at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

Biles walked out onto the floor in red sweatpants with a blue shirt alongside teammate and Olympic champion Sunisa Lee.

Biles, who won bronze on the beam in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, is scheduled to go third during the eight-woman beam final.

Biles was predicted to top her medal haul from Rio at the Tokyo Olympics and become one of the most decorated female Olympians of all time. Instead, the script changed dramatically.

Following is an outline of events at Biles' Tokyo Olympics:

JULY 17 - Biles, bored with going merely between her hotel and training centre, posts on social media asking fans to "tell her a secret," dispensing advice like an agony aunt.

JULY 19 - Kara Eaker, an alternate, tests positive at the team's training camp east of Tokyo. Kara and another alternate isolate at their hotel, while the rest of the team moves to Tokyo, opting not to stay at the Olympic Village.

JULY 22 - At podium practice, a chance for gymnasts to train on the equipment they will use in the Games, Biles includes two attempts at her trademark Yurchenko double pike vault, landing one almost flawlessly - and shocking her coach, who said she hadn't known Biles would do that.

JULY 25 - Biles qualifies for finals on all four apparatus, team and individual all-around, a potential six medals.

JULY 27 - Biles suddenly withdraws from the team competition after one vault, citing mental health concerns. The rest of the team steps up to win silver.

READ: Simone Biles steps back to step up for mental health  

JULY 28 - Biles announces she is withdrawing from the all-around competition. The event is won by compatriot Sunisa Lee.

JULY 30 - On social media, Biles says she's suffering from the "twisties," a sort of disorientation, on all four apparatus, casting further participation in doubt.

RELATED| A case of the Twisties: What happened to Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics

JULY 31 - Biles pulls out of finals on vault and uneven bars. A day later, she also pulls out of the floor finals. She is seen cheering her teammates on from the stands.

AUG. 2 - USA Gymnastics confirms Biles will take part in beam finals, her last chance to medal in Tokyo, on Aug. 3. - Reuters