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Rio Olympics: Biles’ run at Olympic history ends with bronze on beam

Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Simone Biles felt her right foot slip. Then her left.

As she reached down to steady herself on the balance beam — her first visible misstep during an astonishing Olympics that includes three gold medals and some of the most boundary pushing gymnastics ever — one thought ran through her head.

“Wow, Simone, that’s five-tenths,” Biles said.

And that’s it. Nothing more. Sure, winning a record five gold medals in Rio de Janeiro would have been cool. Yet going 5 for 5 was always somebody else’s deal. It wasn’t hers. Her only regret in earning bronze during the beam final on Monday centered on those five seconds when she found herself scrambling trying to recover from a wobbly landing following a front flip.

“I’m not disappointed in the medal that I received because anyone would love to have a bronze at an Olympics Games,” Biles said. “But I’m disappointed in the routine that I did and not so much the whole entire routine, just the front tuck I guess. Because the rest of the routine was pretty good.”

Even if it wasn’t quite good enough to stand atop the podium for once. Her score of 14.733 ended up well behind the 15.466 put up Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands and the 15.333 “Final Five” teammate Laurie Hernandez posted while grabbing silver. Biles won’t leave Brazil with five golds — something no female gymnast has ever done — and she’s totally OK with it.

“I think you guys want it more than I do,” Biles said matter of factly. “I just want to perform the routines that I practice.”

Biles will get one more shot Tuesday in the floor exercise final, where a victory would let her join Larisa Latynina, Vera Caslavska and Ecaterina Szabo as the only women to win four golds during an Olympic meet. It’s heady territory for a 19-year-old, one who couldn’t help but sigh as the admitted perfectionist waited for her score to flash.