Gymnastics: Biles beam slip crushes five-gold dream

Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:09pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - As expected, gymnast extraordinaire Simone Biles picked up her fourth medal at the Rio Olympics.

Only problem was it was not the color the American wanted.

The glum look on her face as she stood on the lowest platform of the podium said it all -- she had not won a bronze medal on the balance beam. She had just lost her chance at creating history.

All the soaring expectations about Biles becoming the first female gymnast to win five golds at a single Olympics came crashing down in a heartbeat -- thanks to a split-second wobble on a four-inch wide block of wood.

That mistake elevated Dutchwoman Sanne Wevers to the most unexpected of victories and left Biles to rue her slipped footing.

"I'm disappointed at the routine that I did. I don't really know what happened," said Biles, who had no idea her foot had slipped till she got off the beam and saw the replay.

There was no need for Greek muscle man Eleftherios Petrounias or North Korea's Ri Se-gwang to watch any re-runs of their performances on the rings and vault respectively to know they had struck gold.

Petrounias showed off his superior power in the strongman's event as he edged out local favorite and 2012 champion Arthur Zanetti to win with a score of 16.000.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Victory Ceremony - Women's Balance Beam Victory Ceremony - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 15/08/2016. Gold medallist Sanne Wevers (NED) of Netherlands (C), silver medallist Laurie Hernandez (USA) of USA (L) and bronze medallist Simone Biles (USA) of USA (R) pose on the podium. REUTERS/Mike Blake