US Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team Will Officially Vie For Gold in Next Week's Final
After an exciting (and surprising) preliminary round for women's artistic gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics, we now know which athletes from the United States will make it into the event and all-around finals for a chance to earn a medal — and we know that Team USA's four-person squad will be competing in the July 27 team final for their opportunity to bring home the country's third consecutive Olympic gold.
The gymnasts were split into five subdivisions — the US athletes were in subdivision three — and the top eight teams, 24 all-around gymnasts, and eight women on each event solidified their place in the finals. There is a two-per-country limit where, if three gymnasts from the same nation were to land in the top eight on bars, for instance, only the two with the highest scores would move through to the final. This goes for every event and the all-around final as well.
Ahead, check out the qualification results for the American women and when to watch the finals to come.
US Women's Gymnastics Team Qualifies For the Tokyo Olympics Team Final
During this qualification round on July 25, Sunisa Lee, Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum were able to compete on every event, but only the top three scores on each apparatus went into the team total. During the final, the results get a refresh; however, three gymnasts compete on every event and teams cannot drop a score. The four-member US team finished second to Russia (competing under the Russian Olympic Committee) after all of the subdivision sessions played out. Over a point separated the two countries, and according to Sports Illustrated, it was the first time since the 2010 World Championships that the US didn't finish on top in qualifiers. The women on Team USA didn't have their strongest day — there were some uncharacteristic mistakes — but they're looking to defend the country's gold medals from the Rio and London Games on July 27.
Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee Qualify For the Tokyo Olympics All-Around Final
It comes as no surprise that Biles won the all-around in qualification, and now she has a chance to defend the Olympic all-around title she earned at the Rio Games five years ago. If she does so, she'd be the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around gold medals in over 50 years. Lee finished just under six-tenths behind Biles in third place overall and scored herself a ticket to the all-around final as well that takes place on July 29.
Jade Carey, who qualified as an individual gymnast separate from the four-person squad competing in the team event, finished a little less than a point behind Lee and ended up in ninth; she's out of the all-around final due to the two-per-country rule. Rebeca Andrade of Brazil came in second place behind Biles.
Simone Biles and Jade Carey Qualify For the Tokyo Olympics Vault Final
Biles, who finished first place on vault across the five subdivisions, did not compete her Yurchenko double pike. Her coaches told NBC Sports's On Her Turf last week that the smart option is saving it for the all-around or team final because gymnasts are not given a type of warmup called a "one-touch warmup" during the event finals. The skill will be named after Biles once she does it in Tokyo. Carey finished just behind Biles in the standings after showcasing two strong vaults of her own, and you can see them compete in the final on Aug. 1.
Sunisa Lee and Simone Biles Qualify For the Tokyo Olympics Bar Final
Lee, with a massive 6.6 difficulty score and high performance of 15.2, finished in second place on bars across the five subdivisions in this preliminary round. If we're getting technical, she even missed a connection during the routine, meaning it wasn't the hardest routine she could do, but she still bested the rest of the competition except for Belgium's Nina Derwael. This qualified Lee for a shot in the bar final on Aug. 1. Biles just made the bar final as well by staying within the top eight on the event with the two-per-country rule applied.
Simone Biles and Jade Carey Qualify For the Tokyo Olympics Floor Final
Biles finished in second place on floor over the five subdivisions to Italy's Vanessa Ferrari, and Carey finished third. Carey did not choose to compete her triple-double layout that will be named after her in the Code of Points if she were to land it successfully in the floor final. It's a K-level skill, the hardest tumbling pass in women's gymnastics right now.
The final for floor takes place on Aug. 2. It's at this final where Biles could become the most decorated gymnast ever across the World Championships and Olympic Games — she needs four Olympic medals in order to pass Belarus's Vitaly Scherbo, who has 33 as a combined total and currently holds that title. (Realistically, Biles might not medal on bars the day prior to the floor final.)
Sunisa Lee and Simone Biles Qualify For the Tokyo Olympics Beam Final
Lee finished in third place on beam in the standings behind Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing from China, qualifying her for a chance to medal in that final on Aug. 3. Biles took a significant number of steps backward after her full-twisting double tuck dismount, but still managed to finish high enough in the standings due to the two-per-country limit.
What About Jordan Chiles, MyKayla Skinner, and Grace McCallum?
Chiles and McCallum are both members of the four-person squad competing in the team final on July 27. Chiles's night was not her best after falling twice on beam and getting a significant deduction on bars. McCallum had a solid night on all four events but did not qualify for any of the apparatus finals or the all-around final.
Skinner, along with Carey, was an individual gymnast the US brought along to Tokyo, and she competed in the preliminary round for a chance to qualify into the all-around and event finals. On her best event, vault, she was out-scored by Carey. Unfortunately, due to the two-per-country-maximum rule, Skinner did not make it into that final. She announced her retirement at the beginning of July, though she will still take opportunities starting with the Gold Over America Tour this fall.
According to ESPN, Skinner has to leave the country within 48 hours because of strict COVID-19 safety protocols. "Heart broken but feeling sooo humbled and blessed for the amazing performance I had tonight!" she wrote on Twitter. "You have all brought me to tears thanks for being my biggest cheerleaders! Love u all xoxo myk."