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Simone Biles leads Day 1 of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials as injuries rock Team USA

MINNEAPOLIS — Simone Biles is four routines away from making her third Olympic team.

She led her Olympic and club teammate, Jordan Chiles, by 2.5 points after the first day of competition at the Olympic trials. Reigning Olympic all-around champion, Suni Lee, rounded out the top three.

The women’s gymnastics team competing in Paris will be named on Sunday, but the selection committee will have to go back to the drawing board after three frontrunners were injured in the lead-up to Friday’s competition.

Kayla DiCello and Shilese Jones both suffered apparent injuries on the vault and were carried off by medical staff. DiCello was injured in the first rotation and Jones in warmups. Jones, the reigning world all-around bronze medalist, was able to compete on the uneven bars, but limped off the podium and scratched the rest of the meet.

Her 14.675 on the event was the highest bars score of the night.

The status of Jones’ and DiCello’s Olympic dreams remains unknown. Skye Blakely, a 19-year-old Texas native, suffered a season-ending Achilles rupture during podium training Wednesday.

The selection procedures prohibit athletes from filing petitions to be named to the Olympic team in case of injury.

Biles started her night with a clean set on bars, but had a few wobbles on the balance beam. At the halfway point, it was an unusual sight on the leaderboard — Biles was not winning.

She was three-tenths behind Leanne Wong, who debuted a new vault upgrade, the Cheng. She originally received a 2-point deduction for a one-handed take off, but Wong appealed her score and eventually received a 14.450.

A dominant performance on floor carried Biles back to the familiar first-place standing. The crowd in the arena immediately took to their feet in the fourth rotation once she landed her eponymous vault, a Yurchenko double pike.

She earned a 15.975, the highest score of the night by over a point.

The skill is the most jaw-dropping, difficult piece of women’s gymnastics being done in the world right now. She did a second vault, the Cheng, to show the selection committee her prowess for the Olympic vault final, where two vaults are required.

Suni Lee, the reigning Olympic all-around champion, looked Paris-ready as she hit an upgraded bars routine with enormous difficulty. She performed a Nabieva to a Bhardwaj, earning a 14.400. The selection committee will not want to leave that routine at home.

Stream every moment and every medal of the 2024 Paris Olympics on Peacock, starting with the Opening Ceremony July 26 at 12 p.m. ET.

The top all-around finisher after two days of competition at the trials will get an automatic spot on the five-member women’s Olympic team. The four other women competing in Paris will be determined by a selection committee, which will use the results from the trials and previous competitions to complete the team.

Four Olympic alternates will also be named in Minneapolis, two of whom will travel to Paris to train with the team.

The U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games air live on NBC and Peacock through Sunday.

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