Gymnastics: Biles signs off with record-equaling fourth gold

Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:56pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - No one would have guessed that Simone Biles' "legs felt like rocks" as the standout gymnast of the 2016 Olympics soared higher and higher to win a record-equaling fourth gold on Tuesday.

A day after a slipped foot off the balance beam dashed the American's hopes of leaving Rio with a record haul of five golds for a female gymnast, she was back to her hip-shaking best to clinch the floor title with 15.966 points, ahead of team mate Aly Raisman.

Biles was not the only one making amends for near misses and past disappointments on the final day of competition.

Oleg Verniaiev buried the heartache of losing the all-around gold to Kohei Uchimura by just 0.099 of a point as he earned Ukraine their first gold in Rio by winning the parallel bars title with a score of 16.041.

After a bronze and silver at the last two Olympics, flamboyant showman Fabian Hambuechen was finally leaping with joy as he became the first German gymnast in 20 years to strike gold with an electrifying routine on the horizontal bar.

It was not just those who were standing on the top of the podium who were celebrating at the Rio Games on Tuesday.

Danell Leyva left his coach and step-father Yin Alvarez theatrically sprinting down the dugout and exchanging high-fives with gray-suited officials as the 24-year-old picked up two silvers behind Verniaiev and Hambuechen.

For Leyva, the medals were especially gratifying because had team mate John Orozco not suffered a knee injury in the run-up to the Games, he would never have received the last minute call-up that made him the most successful American man in Rio.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Floor Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 16/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes.  REUTERS/Mike Blake