Gymnastics: U.S. blow away opposition to win gold

Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:17am EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - There were a few wobbles here and there, even for Simone Biles, but those imperfections could not stop the United States from blowing away the opposition to capture the Olympic women's team title with a record margin on Tuesday.

Dubbing themselves the 'Final Five', Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian proved that they are an untouchable force in gymnastics as they tumbled and soared to victory with a total of 184.897 points.

In a sport where tenths of a point can mean the difference between a gold and no medal at all, their winning margin of 8.209 points was a blowout.

In fact there was only 4.601 separating silver medalists Russia from last-placed finalist Brazil. China trailed the Russians by just 0.685 of a point to finish with bronze.

The Americans' victory, along with the new moniker, was the perfect departing gift for retiring U.S. head coach Marta Karolyi, who burst into tears as she watched her adopted country win back-to-back team golds for the first time.

"I know it means the world to her... she was just so excited at the end ... she started crying, it was so cute," three-times world all-around champion Biles told reporters as she flashed a megawatt smile.

"We just thought the name was perfect because it is Marta's last year and we are the 'final five' for her and it is amazing to end it off with her like this."

Surprisingly the 19-year-old Biles, who is tipped to win five golds in Rio, earned the lowest mark of 12 performances for the Americans, drawing 14.800 on the asymmetric bars after hesitating for a split second midway through her routine.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Team Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the beam during the women's team final.  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez