Biles ties record with 4 golds

Reuters | 8/19/2016, 2:42 p.m.
Simone Biles showed off her sassy moves and explosive tumbles on the floor exercise to win a record-equaling fourth gold ...

Simone Biles showed off her sassy moves and explosive tumbles on the floor exercise to win a record-equaling fourth gold at the Olympics on Tuesday.

A day after a wobbly performance on the balance beam ended the American’s hopes of leaving Rio with a record haul of five golds for a female gymnast, she was back to her best to capture the floor title with 15.966 points.

Teammate Aly Raisman completed a one-two for the United States by earning 15.500 points for the silver while Great Britain’s Amy Tinkler burst into tears after a crowd-pleasing floor display to “Pretty Woman” earned her the bronze.

However, there was no doubting who was the star of the show.

“Simone’s an incredible gymnast ... it’s just amazing to be up there competing against her,” Tinkler told reporters.

A sultry routine full of hip-swinging moves to samba music had the Brazilian spectators on their feet as Biles flew high into the air to execute her trademark element, a soaring double layout with a half-twist at the end.

Cries of “ooh” and “aah” accompanied each of her complex tumbling passes. She drew gasps of admiration as she balanced her entire body weight on her right toes while spinning around twice and had the audience roaring their approval as she bounced off the floor to strike her final pose.

The ear-to-ear grin, which had disappeared on Monday after she ended up with a bronze on the beam, was back on show again and Biles gave the crowd a thumbs-up as she waited for her score.

The score that flashed not only earned her a fifth medal at her debut Olympic games, it was also the highest score of her four floor performances over the past 10 days.

The 19-year-old champion in the vault, floor exercise, team and individual all around competitions became the first woman in 32 years, and fifth overall, to win four golds at a single Olympic games.

“It’s very crazy. To think what I’ve done, it’s been an amazing experience and I don’t think I could be more proud of myself,” Biles said.

So was she disappointed on missing out on the outright record?

“Your first Olympics you walk away with five medals, that’s not tough at all. Especially four being gold, that’s just unheard of. I’m very proud.”

The Soviet Union’s Larisa Latynina (Melbourne 1956), Hungary’s Agnes Keleti (Melbourne 1956), Czech Vera Caslavska (Mexico City 1968) and Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo (Los Angeles 1984) were the only other women to have four golds at a single games.