Gymnastics : Other teams can only marvel at U.S. dominance

Tue Aug 9, 2016 9:20pm EDT
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By Joshua Schneyer

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - In the end it was not even close. The U.S. women's gymnastics team, anchored by all around world champion Simone Biles, won the team gold medal at the Olympics on Tuesday by the widest margin ever.

So commanding and consistent were the U.S. performances that members of the silver and bronze medal teams said they were essentially competing for the second place.

“We were trying for silver. That’s what we were aiming for,” said China's Shang Chunsong, who won the bronze.

Asked about Biles in particular, Shang could only marvel: "I think she's amazing, and she's like a legend. She's so strong."

Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina, who won the gold medal on the uneven bars at the 2012 London Games, said her team also entered the competition knowing they probably could not beat the Americans.

"We competed with the understanding that the U.S. team were stronger than us. So we understand – they won,” Mustafina said.

After Biles finished her power-packed floor exercise, the scoreboard showed that the United States had amassed 184.897 points, an eight-point gap over silver medal-winning team Russia, and the largest margin in the history of the event.

As a team, the United States scored higher than any other team on each of the four apparatuses: floor, uneven bars, vault and balance beam.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Preliminary - Women's Qualification - Subdivisions - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the beam during the women's qualifications.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj