RIO DE JANEIRO — Simone Biles’ run at Olympic history hit a roadblock on Monday when a mistake on balance beam kept the American gymnastics star from a record-tying fourth gold in Rio.
The 19-year-old was in the middle of her routine when she landed awkwardly while completing a front somersault. Her right foot slipped and she reached down with both hands to steady herself.
Biles already has three golds in Rio–in the team, all around and vault–but was attempting to become the first female gymnast to win five gold medals in a single Olympics. Her score of 14.733 was eclipsed by Sanne Wever of the Netherlands minutes later when she scored at 15.466 and got her first gold.
Bile’s Team USA teammate Laurie Hernandez earned the silver with a 15.333.
While most gymnasts wouldn’t medal if they had a misstep as bad as Biles’, her starting score of 16.7 is the highest of anyone, giving her a headstart and the ability to lose more points on her execution. Click here to understand gymnastics scoring.
Biles topped beam qualifying last week and had just completed the most difficult part of her routine — a tumbling pass that stretches the length of the 4-inch wide slab of wood — when she missed the landing following her punch front flip.
Biles will be in the mix for another gold on Tuesday in the floor exercise finals. Now that she can’t be the first to get five golds, she’s attempting to join Larisa Latynina, Vera Caslavska and Ecaterina Szabo as the only women to win four golds during an Olympic meet.