Simone Biles Takes Gold, Aly Raisman Silver in Gymnastics All-Around
After significantly helping the Fierce Five take gold on Tuesday, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman set their eyes on the medal podium in the individual all-around on Thursday. Biles and Raisman were the clear favorites to bring home gold and silver, but a slip up by either could open the door for Aliya Mustafina of Russia.
While one would expect tremendous pressure on Simone Biles to take gold, she appeared completely in the zone, calm as can be during a nearly flawless performance. Both Biles and Raisman had difficult vaults which ended in scores of 15.866 and 15.633, respectively, despite far from perfect landings.
The second rotation was on the uneven bars, arguably the weakest event for Biles. While she posted a solid score of 14.966, Raisman stumbled a bit to a 14.166. Strong performances by Mustafina and Seda Tutkhalian pushed Biles into second by a razor-thin margin and Rasiman to fourth.
Truth told, Biles was right where she needed to be with the balance beam and floor exercises remaining, since she is defending world champion in both events. After a very strong performance on the beam that scored Biles a 15.433, Raisman put together a solid routine to score 14.866 to move into bronze medal position. She was helped by sub-par performances by Mustafina and Tutkhalian, who both scored below 14. After three routines, Biles held a comfortable lead over Mustafina, with Raisman just 0.067 points out of a silver medal.
Simone Biles put away the competition with an extraordinary effort in the floor, earning her a 15.933. The end result was a 2.1 point victory and an all-around gold medal. Raisman put together a routine that would have been difficult to beat on most days, scoring 15.433 to secure the silver medal. The medal was gratifying for Raisman, who was edged out by Mustafina for bronze in 2012. As for Mustafina, she secured the bronze for the second straight Olympic games.
Women’s gymnastics takes center stage on August 14 for the vault and bar finals, followed by the beam finals on August 15 and floor finals on the 16th. Expect Biles to be the favorite in both the beam and floor finals.