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Olympics-Gymnastics-Biles scheduled to compete in balance beam final

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Officials confirmed on Monday that Simone Biles will compete in the balance beam final on Tuesday, the penultimate women’s event on the Tokyo Olympics gymnastics schedule.

“We are ecstatic to announce that two American gymnasts, Suni Lee and Simone Biles, will compete in the balance beam final tomorrow!! I can’t wait to see you both perform!” In a statement, USA Gymnastics said.

It will be the first time the American will be seen competing in Tokyo following her withdrawal from last Tuesday’s women’s team final after her opening vault, citing mental health issues.

The 24-year-old American, who won four golds at the 2016 Rio Games, dropped out of the all-around, floor exercise, vault, and asymmetric bars finals.

Biles is the reigning world champion on the beam and picked up an Olympic bronze on the apparatus in Rio.

Biles has suffered a crisis of confidence in Tokyo as she dealt with the “twisties” — where gymnasts are disoriented during their gravity-defying sequences.

“It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind & body in sync,” Biles explained in an Instagram story, in which she answered fan questions and shared practice videos.

While a number of difficult acrobatic skills have to be performed on the beam, fast-paced tumbling and aerial twisting manoeuvres are limited on the apparatus, hence providing Biles with the opportunity to add to the team silver medal she picked up last week.

Despite the fact that she is not competing, Biles has been a regular presence at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre this week to cheer her American teammates. Biles congratulated Sunisa Lee, who took her place as Olympic all-around champion, and Mykayla Skinner, who won silver in the women’s vault final on Sunday.

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