The U.S. women’s artistic gymnastics team was without its leader, superstar Simone Biles, for most of the team final competition after Biles struggled on vault and then withdrew from the remaining three events. Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum and Jordan Chiles all competed on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise to win the silver medal. The Russian Olympic Committee won gold with a team score of 169.529 while Team USA totaled a 166.096. Great Britain finished in third with a 164.096. This marks the first time in eleven years that the American women did not win the team gold in a major international competition.
Recaps of each rotation and full team scores are below:
U.S. on vault
McCallum was the leadoff for the Americans on vault and performed a double-twisting Yurchenko. On her landing she stepped out of bounds.
In the second spot, Chiles competed a near flawless version of the same vault. She almost stuck the landing but took a teeny hop.
Biles appeared to have trouble on her Amanar, a two-and-a-half twisting vault, in warmups and also struggled in competition. She only performed one-and-a-half twists and landed in a deep squat before taking a step forward. Because she did not perform the Amanar her score was significantly lower than her typical marks.
McCallum – 14.300
Chiles – 14.666
Biles – 13.766
Top 3 teams after rotation 1:
1. ROC – 43.799
2. USA – 42.732
3. France – 41.399
U.S. on uneven bars
First up is McCallum who hit her foot on the low bar when transitioning to the high bar. She had no other major errors.
Chiles shook off the nerves she had during qualifications and nailed a clutch routine in the middle of the lineup. She stuck her full-twisting double back tuck dismount and pumped her fists.
Lee did the most difficult version of her routine and swung with ease. She floated all of her release moves and moved smoothly through her transitions before sticking her full-twisting double back tuck dismount.
McCallum – 13.7
Chiles – 14.166
Team standings after Rotation 2:
1. ROC – 88.498
2. USA – 85.998
3. Italy – 83.031
U.S. on balance beam
McCallum started Team USA off on beam with a solid routine. She had one balance check on a leap and a small step on her double back pike dismount but otherwise maintained her composure.
Lee built on McCallum’s performance with a routine that included a flawless acrobatic series. She had a small bobble on a front aerial and took a step on her dismount but did not make any large errors.
After two falls in the qualification round, Chiles redeems herself with a rock solid beam set. The 20-year-old, who was named after Michael Jordan, crushed her performance and threw her arms up in celebration.
The Russian Olympic committee made its first major mistakes of the competition as both Vladislava Urazova and Angelina Melnikova fell off beam, scoring a 12.633 and a 12.566 respectively
Team scores after Rotation 3:
1. ROC – 128.030
2. USA – 127.230
3. Italy – 124.530
U.S. on floor exercise
For one last time, McCallum led Team USA’s lineup. She bounced on the landing of her first tumbling pass but stayed in bounds. On her second pass, she went out of bounds. Her final two passes were completed with better control.
Chiles went out of bounds on her first tumbling pass and sat down her third. She finished her Olympic appearance with a solid double pike back to close out her floor routine.
Lee caps off the American’s run in the team finals with a fit floor routine including controlled tumbling and nice leap passes. She will return to competition in the individual all-around later this week.
Melnikova clinched the gold for the ROC with a 13.966.
McCallum – 13.500
Chiles – 11.700
Lee – 13.666
Final Team Standings:
1. ROC – 169.528
2. USA – 166.09
3. Great Britain – 164.09
4. Italy – 163.63
5. Japan -164.280
6. France – 163.264
7. China – 161.196
8. Belgium – 159.695