The Russian women’s gymnastics team claimed a dramatic gold medal in the artistic all-round team final in Tokyo, ending America’s run of two consecutive titles at the Olympics.
A tense final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre witnessed the shock early departure of American four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles, who pulled out after the vault.
The US team later described Biles as having a “medical issue” and the 24-year-old star continued to support her team from the sidelines, although her departure had undoubtedly dealt a huge blow to her team.
The Russian team of Angelina Melnikova, Vladislava Urazova, Viktoria Listunova and Lilia Akhaimova – competing under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) due to WADA sanctions – went on to triumph ahead of the US in second and Great Britain in third.
The US team had won gold at the past two Games, with Russia settling for silver both times.
But this time in Tokyo it was vice versa, with the first women’s all-round team gold for Russia as an independent country following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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