Biles loses balance and gold

LOST CHANCE: Biles faltered on the balance beam and missed out on being the first female gymnast to win five golds at a single Games. She walked away with bronze while Dutchwoman Wevers


    Aug 17, 2016

    Biles loses balance and gold

    AS EXPECTED, gymnast extraordinaire Simone Biles picked up her fourth medal at Rio.

    The only problem was that it was not the colour the American wanted.

    The glum look on her face as she stood on the lowest platform of the podium said it all - she had won a bronze medal on the balance beam.

    She had 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.

    The double world champion on the beam was rock-solid as she spun around 900 degrees on her right toes.

    There was not a wobble in sight as she executed her backflip into two layouts.

    With the gold medal in her sights, she soared high into a front somersault but lost her footing and had to grab the beam with both hands to save herself from falling off.

    A routine that had been spell-binding till that moment suddenly lost its sparkle within a blink of an eye.

    After completing her dismount, Biles's frustration was clear to see as the megawatt smile that had lit up the Rio Olympic Arena time and again over the past week failed to materialise.

    Her misfortune allowed Wevers to become the first female Dutch gymnast to grab gold in an individual final, with a graceful yet low-risk routine featuring numerous spins, including a triple.

    She scored 15.466.

    The Netherlands' only previous top prize for the women had been in the team competition in 1928.