All eyes on Simone Biles as US set to dominate at Tokyo Olympics

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FILE PHOTO: Simone Biles smiles after the closing ceremony wherein she was named to the Olympic crew through the ultimate day of girls’s competitors within the U.S. Olympic Workforce Trials for gymnastics in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photograph

MOSCOW— Simone Biles could also be solely 142 centimeters tall, however she casts a large shadow over the Tokyo Olympics the place she is about to reassert her absolute dominance of girls’s gymnastics.

The 24-year-old American, extensively thought-about the very best gymnast of all time, is maybe probably the most excellent athlete not solely in her sport however on the earth proper now.

Biles – who gained 5 medals, together with 4 golds, on the 2016 Rio Olympics – at the moment has 30 mixed world championship and Olympic medals. She is anticipated to interrupt Larisa Latynina’s file of 32 in Tokyo.

The USA, which has not misplaced a crew occasion ultimate on the Olympics or the world championships since 2010, additionally options 18-year-old Sunisa Lee, a 2019 world medallist within the ground train and uneven bars.

With a strong efficiency on the U.S. trials, Lee established herself as a favourite for the silver medal within the all-around.

The Russians and Chinese language, who’ve labored to slender the hole with the US lately, are rivals for the silver within the crew occasion.

The Russian crew, competing with out their flag and anthem due to doping sanctions, is comprised of a gifted new technology of gymnasts who wouldn’t have met age eligibility standards had the Video games been held final 12 months, together with 16-year-olds Viktoria Listunova and Vladislava Urazova, who solely just lately made their senior debuts.

Listunova, the European all-around champion, is a candidate for the rostrum within the all-around in Tokyo. However the competitors amongst Listunova, Urazova and 20-year-old Angelina Melnikova shall be stiff as a result of solely two gymnasts from every nation can qualify for the all-around ultimate.

The Russian crew is powerful on the uneven bars, and Melnikova, who gained silver within the crew occasion at Rio, might additionally win a medal on the ground train behind Biles. The Russians have struggled at their nationwide championship on the beam and want a strong efficiency to complete forward of China.

The veteran Chinese language crew will look to rebound after successful just one medal, a bronze, within the crew occasion in Rio.

Eighteen-year-old Tang Xijing, the all-round silver medallist on the 2019 world championships, will lead the crew together with her poise and consistency.

Ou Yushan might rating excessive within the all-around, and Lu Yufei might show a risk after just lately rising the issue in her routines.

Zhang Jin, 20, has been strong on the beam and will additionally assist increase China on the ground train and the vault.

In particular person occasions, two-time uneven bars world champion Fan Yilin is favored to win a medal, whereas 16-year-old steadiness beam specialist Guan Chenchen might attain the rostrum.

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Observe Inquirer Sports activities’ particular protection of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 right here.

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