The USA women’s gymnastics team repeated their London 2012 win in a display of verve and consistency so convincing that their floor exercise routines in the last rotation of the team final were more of an acrobatics-filled victory lap at Rio Olympic Arena tonight (9 August).
Simone Biles’ samba-themed performance as the last competitor put the finishing touch to USA’s trouncing of the seven other teams, who were left scuffling for silver and bronze.
By a winning margin of more than eight points, USA won gold after they produced a dozen risky, forceful routines without sizeable errors. Biles credited the win to teamwork and diligence.
“We are so successful because we believe in ourselves,” said the three-time world champion and the most decorated gymnast of all time who will also go for individual all-around Olympic gold on 11 August.
“It hasn’t been easy, but we have done everything we could have done to get where we are,” she said.
3Gold for diversity at Rio 2016
The US posted a score of 184.897, more than eight points clear of silver-medallist Russia and nearly nine more than China, who took bronze.
Russia’s lacklustre work on balance beam and floor exercise forced them to rally for a podium finish on their last apparatus, vault, where they jumped ahead of China to claim silver.
Second place was reward enough for Aliya Mustafina, one of three competitors who won silver at London 2012.
“We were expecting a good performance and we did it,” she said. “It is obvious that USA are much stronger right now.”
China took bronze.