American gymnast Simone Biles won her seventh career Olympic medal Tuesday, earning bronze on the balance beam in a return to competition after having to withdraw from earlier events.
Biles wore a huge smile after landing a double pike dismount at the end of her routine.
Her withdrawal from the team event after competing in the vault was a stunning development with anticipation she could have won as many as five gold medals at these Olympics.
Biles explained she was focusing on her mental health, and that her mind and body were not in sync as she performed skills, especially those involving twists.
After the U.S. team won silver, she subsequently pulled out of the all-around competition and the individual events on vault, uneven bars and floor exercise.
The balance beam offered an opportunity for Biles to compete without the twisting skills that are more prevalent in the other events. Her double pike dismount was a simpler finish than one she had performed in earlier competitions with twists.
China's Guan Chenchen won the gold medal Tuesday, beating out teammate Tang Xijing who took silver.
American Sunisa Lee, who had already won three medals at the Tokyo Games, finished fifth on the balance beam.
Lee’s mother told VOA there will be a parade in her honor when she returns to her home in the northern state of Minnesota.
Yeev Thoj said that Lee’s level of success, which during these Olympics also included a gold medal in the all-around event, silver in the team competition and a bronze in the uneven bars, is not something the family expected when Lee began gymnastics as a child.
“When we first put her in gymnastics, it’s more like for to discipline her, to become a better person and maybe get a scholarship to college, but never imagined that she would actually go this far,” Yeev Thoj said. “I’m super proud, very proud of my daughter.”
Lee, the first person of Hmong descent to make the U.S. Olympics team, is set to begin attending Auburn University later this month.
Earlier Tuesday, China’s Zou Jingyuan won gold in the parallel bars, with Lukas Dauser of Germany taking silver. Ferhat Arican won Turkey’s first gymnastic medal with a third-place performance.
In other events, Norway’s Karsten Warholm smashed his own world record in final of the men’s 400-meter hurdles, winning in a time of 45.94 seconds. The previous record, which he set last month, was 46.7 seconds.
American Rai Benjamin finished in 46.17 to claim the silver medal.
In the women’s long jump, Germany’s Malaika Mihambo won with a final leap of 7 meters, beating out American Brittney Reese.
The Netherlands dethroned Britain in cycling’s men’s team sprint, setting an Olympic record to win Tuesday. Britain won silver after claiming gold at the three previous Olympics.
Two Chinese divers topped the standings in the men’s 3-meter springboard diving competition, as Xie Siyi won gold and his partner from the synchronized diving event, Wang Zongyuan, won silver. Britain’s Jack Laugher claimed the bronze medal.
In the first-ever women’s featherweight boxing event, Japan’s Sena Irie captured gold as she won a unanimous decision over Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines.
The U.S. men’s basketball team overcame an early 10-point deficit to Spain, winning 95-81 to claim a spot in the semifinals. Kevin Durant led the U.S. team with 29 points. Ricky Rubio scored 38 points for Spain.
Buasawan Simmala contributed to this report.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.