Biles pulls out of all-round final after team final withdrawal "to focus on mental health"
USA Gymnastics hailed Simone Biles as a "role model" for prioritizing her mental health over competing at Tokyo 2020.
US gymnast Simone Biles has pulled out of Thursday’s women’s individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics “to focus on her mental health”, USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday.
USA Gymnastics said that the 24-year-old would undergo evaluation to determine if she will be able to take part in the upcoming individual events starting on Sunday. She has qualified to compete in all four: beam, uneven bars, vault and floor exercise.
USA Gymnastics statement on Biles withdrawal
"After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health," read the USA Gymnastics statement.
"We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."
Biles second withdrawal after team final
The announcement comes after Biles withdrew from Tuesday’s women’s team final, where the USA had to settle for silver as their Russian Olympic Committee opponents took gold. After that competition, the four-time Olympic gold medalist cited her mental health as the reason for her withdrawal, which had initially been put down to a medical issue.
"I say, 'put mental health first'," Biles said. "Because if you don't, you won't enjoy sport and won't succeed as much as you want to.
"So it's okay sometimes to sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong a competitor and person that you really are, rather than just battling through it."
Regarding her participation in upcoming events, Biles said she would take it day-by-day before making a decision. Although, Britain Olympic gymnast, Max Whitlock, urged Biles to take time to rest before making a decision on her return.
“Simone Biles, you’ve pushed boundaries time and time again. Rest up and take time,” tweeted the double Olympic and world champion.
Jade Carey steps in for Biles
Jade Carey, who finished ninth overall in qualifying, has been named as Biles’ replacement for Thursday’s individual all-around final.
Carey initially missed out on qualification for Thursday’s event as she had ranked behind US team mates Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals.