Biles on road to Rio, Douglas in trouble

Sat Jul 9, 2016 1:03am EDT
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By Steve Keating

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Simone Biles is well on the road to the Rio Games but Olympic champion Gabby Douglas's journey is in danger after a dramatic opening round of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials on Friday.

Biles, the three-time all-around world champion unbeaten in major competitions since 2013, looks poised to keep her winning streak intact posting a leading score of 61.850, a full point clear of her nearest challenger Lauren Hernandez heading into Sunday's second round.

A USA Gymnastics selection committee will announce the five member Rio squad Sunday evening.

With 14 women battling for five spots, Douglas, the London Games all-round gold medalist, suddenly finds herself in an Olympic-sized hole sitting seventh after a bumpy night that closed with a fall off the beam.

"I'm just going to take this and not get down and fight for every little thing and just not give up," a clearly shaken Douglas told reporters. "I just have to tell myself that it's not over until it's over.

"I am definitely going to recover because that is what I do, I'm a fighter."

Douglas has developed a well-earned reputation of delivering when it matters most and the stakes could not be higher on Sunday when she will need to produce a bounce-back performance and show women's coach Martha Karolyi she deserves a ticket to Rio.

Certainly Karolyi did not appear ready to throw in the towel on Douglas, offering the London Games darling a vote of confidence.   Continued...

Jul 8, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Simone Biles from Spring, TX, during the balance beam in the women's gymnastics U.S. Olympic team trials at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports