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The U.S. Olympic Trials in Artistic Gymnastics for women got going on Friday in St. Louis, with all eyes on superstar Simone Biles trying for a second Olympic Games after winning four golds and a bronze in Rio five years ago.
In early June, the main contenders faced off at the U.S. Nationals, with Biles winning the combined All-Arounds at 119.650 over Sunisa Lee (114.950) and Jordan Chiles (114.450). In St. Louis, they started from scratch once again.
Biles and Lee started on the Uneven Bars, with Lee compiling the high score at 15.300 and Biles (14.600) third after a 14.800 performance by Riley McCusker on her only event of the night. Chiles began on Beam, recording a 14.233 score for the early lead, while MyKayla Skinner lit up the Vault, scoring 15.133 to lead after the first rotation.
Biles moved to the Beam and confidently took the lead, scoring a 15.133. Lee was next at 14.733 and Chiles scored 14.233.
Chiles was on Floor, scoring 13.633, while Skinner collected a 14.133 on Beam to move into fourth on that apparatus. Jade Carey took the lead on the Vault, scoring 15.200 in one of the two events she hopes to compete as a specialist in Tokyo. Lee scored a modest 13.233 on Floor, followed shortly after by a sensational 15.366 for Biles that put her in the overall lead. Kayla DiCello’s 13.966 on Floor placed her third behind Biles in that event, as Grace McCallum scored 14.166 for second.
Chiles finished with a quality Vault, scoring 14.966 and finishing the night at 57.132. Lee scored 14.400 on her Vault, and totaled 57.666 for her first-day effort. Everyone was waiting for Biles on Vault, and she did not disappoint, scoring a sensational 15.466, the highest score on any apparatus in the session, for a total of 60.565 points to win the first All-Around.
Skinner finished on Floor, scoring 13.866 for a first-day total of 56.598 points, placing her fourth in the overall standings for the night, behind Biles, Lee and Chiles. McCallum finished with a 14.633 in the Vault to move into fifth place overall (56.498) and DiCello totaled 14.600 and stands sixth at 56.298.
For comparison, Biles led after the first day at the U.S. Nationals in early June with 59.550 points, trailed by Lee at 57.350, Chiles at 56.900 and Leanne Wong at 55.300.
The men will finish with a second All-Around on Saturday; the women will go once more on Sunday.
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