Gymnastics: Whitlock bags historic golds for Britain, Biles shines again

Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:13pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Gold medals for Britain in Olympic gymnastics are like London buses - you wait 120 years for one and then two come along at once - with Max Whitlock ending the long wait for a champion by claiming victory in the floor exercise and pommel horse finals.

While the two top prizes saw Whitlock match Kohei Uchimura's gold haul at the Rio Games, with the Japanese great failing to add to his team and all around triumphs as he missed out on a medal in the floor final, there was no stopping Simone Biles.

The 19-year-old American made it three golds from three finals as she beat world champion Maria Paseka of Russia with a score of 15.966 from her two soaring vaults.

After Biles picked up a global vault title for the first time, Paseka said: "I want to be first of course but I look at Simone and I understand at the moment she’s untouchable."

Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber pipped India's Dipa Karmakar by 0.15 of a point to take bronze.

There were no medals for Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina as she finished seventh in what organizers thought would be the 41-year-old's seventh and final Olympic outing.

A showreel highlighting her 24-year run in the Games got loud applause and she blew kisses after her hopes of becoming the oldest gymnast to win a medal ended with a forward roll on the crash mat after she over-rotated on her Produnova vault.

But she quickly dispelled suggestions that she would not be back for the Tokyo Olympics as a 45-year-old.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Victory Ceremony - Men's Pommel Horse Victory Ceremony - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 14/08/2016. Max Whitlock (GBR) of Britain (L) poses with his gold medal on the podium.  REUTERS/Mike Blake