Simone Biles has been forced to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics artistic gymnastics final.
The 24-year-old, who is regarded by many as the greatest gymnast of all time, has withdrawn from the team event. In her absence, Team USA went on to finish second and win silver at the final.
Why has Simone Biles withdrawn from the team gymnastics final?
Biles pulled out of the Olympic artistic gymnastics team final after reports from NBC claimed she is struggling with a mental issue.
The four-time gold medallist was left visibly disappointed with her vault routine after an awkward dismount gave Biles her lowest ever score on the apparatus.
Biles was seen leaving the floor with her coach before Team USA confirmed she would not be continuing.
Why is this significant?
The USA are experts when it comes to gymnastics. The final quartet of Biles, Jordan Chiles, Suni Lee and Grace McCallum were considered the favourites to take the top spot in the team final.
While they still had the capability to win gold, losing Biles undoubtedly rocked the camp. The US gymnasts were forced to bring in a reserve competitor while Biles remained on the floor to support her teammates from the sidelines. Despite the unfortunate nature of the situation, earning a silver medal is still a huge coup for the Americans.
The USA won team gold at the last two Olympics, finishing top at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.
What happens next for Simone Biles?
Biles’ withdrawal may well be a precautionary measure from Team USA ahead of her individual events. She will be hoping to compete in the all-around, vault, balance beam and floor in the coming days.
Since sitting out the remainder of the final, Biles has given comment on her status, telling BBC reporters that: “I’m okay, just dealing with things internally that will get straightened out in a couple of days.”
The 24-year-old also said her plan for the rest of the Games is to “focus on my well being. You know there’s more to life than just gymnastics.”
This article is being updated in real-time. Come back here for more information shortly as events unfold.