Simone Biles’ extension of her legacy began Saturday when the U.S. women’s gymnastics team competed in the qualifying round at the Tokyo Olympics.
Biles was wearing her Team USA leotard instead of her custom GOAT one, but all eyes were on her as usual. Biles advanced in all four individual events.
Biles scored a 14.133 on her floor routine in the qualifying round, with her level of difficulty and height more than compensating for going so far out of bounds on her third landing that she went off the floor entirely.
Biles received a D Score of 6.700, E Score of 7.733 and Penalty of -0.3, only trailing Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari, who scored a 14.166 in floor exercise.
The United States’ Jade Carey had the third best score with a 14.100. Jordan Chiles’ 13.566 was 13th , Mykayla Skinner’s 13.566 was 14th, Grace McCallum’s 13.466 was 16th, and Sunisa Lee’s 13.433 was 18th.
Biles had the top score in vault with scores of 14.966 and 15.400 for a 15.183. Following her first attempt, Biles made a meme-worthy facial expressions after just barely getting both hands down on the vault and nearly stumbling off the mat.
Carey finished with the second best score after posting a 15.166 on each attempt. Skinner claimed fourth with a 14.866, though only the top two scorers from each nation can advance to the event finals.
Lee was among the favorites in the uneven bars entering the women’s gymnastics qualifying round and didn’t disappoint.
With a D Score of 6.600 and E Score of 8.600, Lee totaled a 15.200 to take hold of the top score in the event. She topped the 14.966 scored by Anastasiia Iliankova of the Russian Olympic Committee. However, Belgium’s Nina Darwael later took the top spot from Lee with a score of 15.366.
Biles, in the event considered her weakest, finished with the second best score for the U.S. with a 14.566. Despite finishing with the 10th best score, since only two from each country can advance and the Russian Olympic Committee had four of the top six spots, Biles was the eighth and final qualifier.
Lee also finished with the top U.S. score on beam with a 14.200, which was third best behind China’s Chenchen Guan (14.933) and Xijing Tang (14.333). Biles’ score of 14.066 on beam finished as seventh-best overall.
It should come as no surprise that after the United States completed its women’s gymnastics qualifying round, the leader in the all-around is Biles.
With a score of 14.133 on floor exercise, 14.066 on beam, 14.966 on vault and 14.566 on uneven bars, Biles finished with a score of 57.731.
Just behind her is Lee, who topped Biles on beam with a 14.200 and uneven bars with a 15.200. Lee also scored 13.433 on floor and 14.333 on vault for a total of 57.166.
As for the other members of the U.S., Carey finished in eighth with a 56.265, Skinner was 10th with a 55.398, McCallum is 12th with a 55.165 and Chilies, who struggled on bars and beam, is 38th with a 52.698.
The 24 gymnasts with the top cumulative individual scores advance to the individual all-around final, with a limit of two gymnasts per country.
As a team, the United States’ score of 170.562 finished second behind the Russian Olympic Committee’s 171.629. China was third with a 166.863, France was fourth with a 164.561 and Belgium was fifth with a 164.195.
Russia won the silver in 2016 in Rio, while China took the bronze, but both teams have talented newcomers on their teams this time around. ROC’s Viktoria Listunova would have been too young to compete if the Tokyo Games had been held as scheduled in 2020.
The finals for the women’s gymnastic will begin later this week, with the women’s all-around kicking the final events off on Thursday, July 29 at 5:50 a.m. ET.