It was hard to decide which of the two surprising outcomes of Tuesday's womens gymnastics team event at Tokyo Olympics. Simone Biles exit, or victory by the Russians. The Russians won the gold medal last year as the Unified team. This team represented former Soviet Union countries. This is technically Russia's first ever team gold. The Russians beat the Americans by more than 8 point at the Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. The Russians beat the United States by 3 points this year.
This has been largely seen in the U.S. as the natural consequence. Simone Biles, the U.S.'s star, unexpectedly pulled out after the vault and created an opening for Russians. Russian media outlets also agree with this framing. According to Kommersant, people expected a strong performance from the experienced Americans and not a young, talented Russian team. Both Vladislava Urazova and Victoria Listunova are just 16 years old. According to Kommersant, the U.S. gymnastics team was called a machine, with four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles as the face of rhythmic gymnastics. The Russian team needed the gold because of this misfortune.
Others claim that the American team lost the gold medal. The Russian gymnasts won it. Russian online media Sports.ru stated that just having the opportunity doesn't mean that Angelina Melnikova (Vladislava Urazova), Victoria Listunova and Lilia Akhaimova can seize it. It is a dramatic moment in artistic gymnastics. Two falls win the Russians gold! They fell but did not break. We would have won regardless of whether Biles had competed, Latynina said, calling the Russian team brilliant.
Match TV reported that Russian gymnasts said they were happy. Sports.ru reports that the Russian gymnasts were a little offended by American journalists' attention to Simone Biles' withdrawal at the press conference following the competition. This was not what we were focusing on. We didn't focus on this. Listunova said that we were only thinking about our performance. Melnikova said that Simone Biles, her teammate, asked her about her experience. She replied: Nothing.
Russian media continue to focus on Biles' outstanding performance, while they criticize Biles. Championat.com writes that it is strange that she did not show leadership qualities. She left her peers during the intense fight. This is an American champion?
On Thursday, the individual competition will give you another chance to compare American and Russian gymnasts. Simone Biles' performance is unknown. She said Tuesday that they would figure it out.