Biles, Raisman Win Gold and Silver in Rio All-Around
(10 votes, average 4.40 out of 5)

American superstar Simone Biles completed her sweep of the quadrennium by adding the Olympic all-around gold medal (62.198) to her trio of world titles. And teammate Aly Raisman avenged her London 2012 all-around finish, when she had tied Russia's Aliya Mustafina for third but was bumped to fourth by a tie-breaker. Raisman easily won the silver in Rio (60.098), and Mustafina, who led the 24-gymnast field after two rotations, won her second Olympic bronze in the all-around (58.665).

But this day was mainly about Biles, who seemed to get better as the meet progressed. She took a big step on her Amanar vault (15.866) in rotation one, and swung through a clean set on uneven bars, sticking her full-twisting double tuck dismount (14.966). First up on balance beam, Biles handled the pressure well, with only one minor balance check after her front-half (15.433). Last up on floor exercise with a comfortable lead, Biles rocked one of her best routines. It was only after her score of 15.933 was flashed that she finally cried. Long-time coach Aimee Boorman hugged Biles tightly as she, too, was overcome by the moment they both had anticipated for so long but tried not to think about.

Raisman could not contain her emotions so easily. As soon as she finished her floor exercise (15.433), tears flooded her eyes as she left the podium to hug her coach, Mihai Brestyan.

Like Biles, Raisman landed her Amanar with a big hop forward, and she was a little off on her uneven bars, scoring 14.166. Then she settled down and hit another solid beam routine (14.866) and a sensational floor exercise (15.433).

Mustafina, the 2010 world champion who tore her ACL the following spring, came to Rio with the primary goal of helping her team. And her calm demeanor throughout the all-around enabled her to put four strong events together, with a high score of 15.666 on uneven bars and a low of 13.866 on beam, where she missed several connections. She opened the meet with a clean Yurchenko-double twist (15.200) and finished with a classic floor routine (13.993). She knew her best years were behind her, which made her performance all the more impressive.

China's Shang Chunsong nearly overtook Mustafina for the bronze but totaled 58.549 for fourth, the same rank she earned at the 2015 World Championships. If she could do a harder vault than a full-twisting Yurchenko (worth 5.0), she would have won a major all-around medal by now. Her difficulty is excellent on the other three events: uneven bars (6.7); balance beam (6.4); floor exercise (6.4). Today, her top score was 15.233 on bars.

Canada's Ellie Black had an excellent day to place fifth with 58.298, and China's Wang Yan was sixth (58.032).

Jessica Lopez of Venezuela, the top South American today, finished seventh (57.966), and rounding out the top 10 in order were Asuka Teramoto of Japan (57.965), Eythora Thorsdottir of the Netherlands (57.632) and Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland (57.565). Brazil's Rebeca Andrade, the crowd favorite, finished 11th (56.965).

In terms of intensity, the women's all-around final was quite the opposite of the men's, where the pressure increased with each rotation. And that's a testament to Simone Biles, who has set a new standard for women's gymnastics. And she still has three more chances for gold in the apparatus finals. Stay tuned for her encore. She's just getting started.

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