on road to Rio, Douglas in trouble
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[July 09, 2016]
By Steve Keating
SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Simone
Biles is well on the road to the Rio Games but Olympic champion
Gabby Douglas's journey is in danger after a dramatic opening round
of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials on Friday.
Biles, the three-time all-around world champion unbeaten in major
competitions since 2013, looks poised to keep her winning streak
intact posting a leading score of 61.850, a full point clear of her
nearest challenger Lauren Hernandez heading into Sunday's second
A USA Gymnastics selection committee will announce the five member
Rio squad Sunday evening.
With 14 women battling for five spots, Douglas, the London Games
all-round gold medalist, suddenly finds herself in an Olympic-sized
hole sitting seventh after a bumpy night that closed with a fall off
"I'm just going to take this and not get down and fight for every
little thing and just not give up," a clearly shaken Douglas told
reporters. "I just have to tell myself that it's not over until it's
"I am definitely going to recover because that is what I do, I'm a
Douglas has developed a well-earned reputation of delivering when it
matters most and the stakes could not be higher on Sunday when she
will need to produce a bounce-back performance and show women's
coach Martha Karolyi she deserves a ticket to Rio.
Certainly Karolyi did not appear ready to throw in the towel on
Douglas, offering the London Games darling a vote of confidence.
"I feel like she will have a good presence tomorrow," said Karolyi.
"I think her training wasn't so perfect leading up to today and I
think in comparison to how she trained she competed well until the
"She will have to perform tomorrow."
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Simone Biles from Spring, TX, during the balance beam in the women's
gymnastics U.S. Olympic team trials at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit:
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Even on a night when she was not firing on all cylinders, Biles was
the clear class of a quality field recording the best score on the
floor and vault, second on the beam and fourth on the uneven bars to
go top the rankings.
Sixteen-year-old Hernandez, helped by the top mark on the beam,
scored 60.850 while London gold medalist Aly Raisman sits third on
59.950 followed by MyKayla Skinner and Ragan Smith.
"Itís hard to control the adrenaline and bring it back down because
I donít think any of besides Gabby and Aly are used to that,Ē said
Biles, about competing in front of boisterous capacity crowd of
17,904 at the SAP Center.
"I would sit on the side and almost feel tired. It would be like I
did a routine but I hadnít started it.
"Tomorrow we still have training and hopefully we can perform better
in day two."
(Additional reporting Liana Baker; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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