'Brave' US superstar pulls out of second event

2 months ago 27
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American gymnastics megastar Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title in the women's all-round event, USA Gymnastics has confirmed.

Biles has been withdrawn from tomorrow's all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being following last night's shock withdrawal during the women's gymnastics team event.

The 24-year-old U.S. star, considered to be one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, was seen huddling with a trainer after landing awkwardly off the vault. She then exited the competition floor with the team doctor.

After initial reports of an ankle injury, it was later revealed that Biles had been struggling with her mental health throughout the Games, so much so that she made the heartbreaking decision to step aside out of fear costing the USA a medal.

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Simone Biles. (AP)

"No injury, thankfully - and that's why I took a step back, because I didn't want to do something silly out there and get injured," Biles eventually revealed after USA claimed silver behind the Russian Federation.

"I thought it was best if these girls took over and did the rest of the job, which they absolutely did. They're Olympic silver medallists now and they should be really proud of themselves for how they did, last minute, having to go in.

"It's been really stressful, this Olympic Games, I think just as a whole. Not having an audience, there are a lot of different variables going into it.

"It's been a long week, it's been a long Olympic process, it's been a long year. So just a lot of different variables and I think we're just a little bit too stressed out. We should be out here having fun and sometimes that's not the case.

Simone Biles is comforted after pulling out of the teams event. (Getty)

"We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do."

Gymnastics USA had initially said the scope for Biles' further invovlement in the Tokyo Games would be assessed on a daily basis.

They have now made the decision to withdraw Biles from tomorrow's all-round event.

"After further medical evaluation, Simon Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health," a statement from the governing body read.

"We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."

Following Biles' latest withdrawal, fans and supporters weighed in on Twitter to lift up the struggling athlete.

British gymnast Max Whitlock tweeted: "Simone Biles, you've pushed boundaries time and time again. Rest up & take time."

It is yet to be seen if Biles will compete in next week's individual events.

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