Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles leads U.S. gymnastics qualifiers

Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles leads U.S. gymnastics qualifiers
Gymnast Simone Biles performs on the uneven bars at the Women's U.S. Olympic Gymnastic Trials on Sunday at the The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

June 28 (UPI) -- Simone Biles, arguably the greatest gymnast of all time, headlines the Team USA women's team, finalized through the U.S Olympic Trials in St. Louis.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist, along with Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum, each clinched spots Sunday for the four-woman team. MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey also earned spots and will compete as individuals, with their scores not counting toward the team total.


Biles typically dominates competitions, but had an uncharacteristically subpar performance Sunday at The Dome at America's Center. She fell off the balance beam, stepped out of bounds on a floor exercise and slipped up on the uneven bars.

The mistakes led to tears, but were not enough to keep Biles from a first-place finish and a fresh ticket to Tokyo. Biles, 24, claimed the all-around title with a score of 118.098. Lee claimed second in all-around at 115.832, followed by Chiles, McCallum, Skinner, Kayla DiCello, Kara Eaker and Leanne Wong.

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"I've been emotional this whole week," Biles told NBC. "I can't believe Olympic trials is here again. I can't believe I'm here again. The journey as been surreal, five years later and we're doing it again.


"I was just really upset, everybody came out here and gave their heart, and I just didn't give my best performance."

Lee, Chiles, McCallum, Carey and Skinner -- an alternate in 2016 -- will make their Olympic debuts.

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Eaker, DiCello, Wong and Emma Malabuyo will serve as alternates for the women's team. The men's team, finalized Saturday, features Brody Malone, Yul Moldauer, Sam Mikulak, Shane Wiskus and Alec Yoder.

Biles, who won gold in all-around, floor, uneven bars and vault at the 2016 Summer Games, also finished first in Sunday's vault and floor exercises. Lee beat Biles in uneven bars and on the balance beam.

"This means so much to me," Lee told NBC. "I've worked so hard for the past couple years. To go on the floor and do everything I was supposed to do feels amazing."

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Malone won the men's all-around title Saturday in St. Louis. He finished first in the high bar, second in floor and still rings and third in parallel bars. Moldauer, Wiskus and Mikulak rounded out the top men's all-around scores to claim spots on the four-man team.

Yoder, who finished first in pommel horse, was selected to compete as an individual in Tokyo. Brandon Briones, Cameron Bock, Allan Bower and Akash Modi were selected as the alternates for the Team USA men's gymnastics team.


"I feel like I have a lot of wisdom and can guide them through the meets," Biles said of her leadership role for Team USA. "I just want to keep everyone cool, calm and collected."

The artistic gymnastics schedule for the Summer Games runs from July 24 through Aug. 3 at Ariak Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo.

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Simone Biles stands on the floor after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Olympic Arena of the Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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