Simone Biles feels pressure after Russia beat USA in qualifying rounds
‘I truly feel like I have the weight of the world of my shoulders’ Simone Biles reveals the pressure is getting to her after Russia beat USA in qualifying rounds before tomorrow’s final
- The 24-year-old superstar acknowledged Sunday’s disappointing performance
- ‘It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,’ she said in a Monday post
- Biles is vying for five more golds to add to her tally from the Rio Games in 2016
- The US gymnastics squad will return Tuesday to defend their title against Russia
Simone Biles has said she has the ‘weight of the world’ on her shoulders after yesterday’s lacklustre U.S. women’s gymnastics performances.
In qualifying for the finals, the U.S. team of gold-medal hopefuls were beaten into second place by Russia with Biles and teammates uncharacteristically faulting during their disciplines.
The 24-year-old superstar from Spring, Texas, is vying for five more golds to add to her tally from Rio in 2016.
‘Now to prepare for finals. It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,’ she wrote in an Instagram post on Monday.
‘I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.
‘I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!’
Simone Biles (pictured) has said she has the ‘weight of the world’ on her shoulders after yesterday’s lacklustre U.S. women’s gymnastics performances on Sunday
In qualifying for the finals, the U.S. team of gold medal hopefuls were beaten into second place by Russia with Biles and team mates uncharacteristically faulting during their disciplines
She added: ‘BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually they mean the world to me!’ Biles added.
She accompanied her post by sharing a selfie with a monitor in the background which showed her parents cheering her on from the U.S.
Biles and her squad will return on Tuesday to defend their title against Russia.
The United States has won the team event in every Olympics and world championship since 2011 but Russia fired a warning shot at the Americans during Sunday’s qualification round when they took top spot in the rankings.
Russia, competing at the Tokyo Games as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) because the country was stripped of its flag and anthem for doping offences, have not won the women’s team title since the United Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
But the Russian have recently looked equipped to reclaim top spot, finishing runner-up to the United States at the last two Summer Games.
Before arriving in Tokyo, a U.S. squad anchored by reigning Olympic and world all-around champion Biles had been tipped to run away with the gold. But that dominance was challenged during qualifying and is likely to be tested again during the finals.
‘Obviously there are little things we need to work on, so we’ll go back and practice and work on that, just so we can do our best performance at team finals, because that’s what matters,’ said Biles, who will be in competing in all six women’s finals. ‘We’re really striving for top three.’
It is unlikely, however, that anything but top spot will satisfy Biles and her team mates Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum.
USA Gymnastics high-performance coordinator Tom Forster warned that not too much should be read into Sunday’s qualifying and that the U.S. team will be ready when medals are on the line.
Russia and the United States were a class apart from other teams during qualification, with just over a point separating the two powerhouses. Pictured: Vladislava Urazova on Sunday
‘This is not the finals, this is getting into the finals,’ said Forster. ‘Sometimes, just like in any other sport, great athletes drop the ball in the end-zone or a quarterback throws an interception.
The ROC and the United States were a class apart from other teams during qualification, with just over a point separating the two powerhouses.
China ranked third, almost five points adrift of the ROC, but is expected to be in the thick of the medal fight along with France. Belgium and Britain are also eyeing a place on the podium.
The ROC are led by Angelina Melnikova, who helped Russia to team silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but all eyes will be on a fearless new generation that features 16-year-olds Vladislava Urazova and European all-around champion Viktoria Listunova
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