The U.S. women’s gymnastics team was heavily favored to win the gold medal coming into the 2021 Olympics. It is still the favorite, but after a rough qualifying session that saw the Americans surprisingly finish second, the door may be open for an upset.
The Russian Olympic Committee beat Team USA by 1.067 points in qualifying Sunday morning. Jordan Chiles struggled and Simone Biles commited a rare 0.3-point penalty during her floor routine.
That outing may have been just a blip on the radar. After all, Team USA still easily qualified for the eight-team competition despite its slips. Nonetheless, Biles, Chiles, Suni Lee and Grace McCallum will have to do a lot to quiet the criticism surrounding their performances as they look to earn the United States a third consecutive gymnastics team gold medal.
Biles should be able to do that, but how will the other gymnasts, who lack Olympic experience, fare? That’s the biggest question Team USA will have to answer in its quest to take home gold again.
Sporting News is tracking live updates and highlights from the team competition at the Olympics. Here are the best and brightest moments from Biles and Co. (All times Eastern.)
Olympics gymnastics live results, highlights from women’s team finals
6:48 a.m. — McCallum, Chiles and Biles will compete for Team USA on the vault. Biles finished first on the vault during Sunday’s qualifying, posting a mark of 15.183 despite a 0.3-point penalty.
6:45 a.m. — All right, let’s get this show on the road. Team USA will begin its quest for its third consecutive gold medal shortly as introductions are underway.
6:37 a.m. — It looks like Team USA will start on the vault alongside the ROC. Then, it’ll be the bars, beam and finally, the floor. Grace McCallum will be first to perform for the U.S. on each event.
6:28 a.m. — Team USA has won the last two Olympic gold medals in the women’s team competition. In 2012, the U.S. won handily, beating second-place Russia by 5.066 points. In 2016, Team USA won by an even wider margin over Russia. The “Final Five” held an 8.209-point lead at the end of competition.
6:24 a.m. — Just how close can the scoring get in gymnastics? The Russian Olympic Committee beat Team USA by 1.067 points in Sunday’s qualifying. That came despite an unusually rocky qualifying for Team USA, so regardless of what happens, this competition will be close.
6:21 a.m. — Scoring reminder: Each team will have three gymnasts compete on the four events — floor exercise, vault, uneven bars and balance beam. Those three scores will count towards the team total for the competition. That leaves little room for error for the gymnasts, and any penalties racked up on the day could have a big impact on the final outcome of this meet.
6:15 a.m. — Just 30 minutes until the start of the women’s team final. The starting lineup for the U.S. women is expected to feature Simone Biles on all three events along with Grace McCallum, who will surprisingly get a four-event nod over Jordan Chiles after Chiles’ disappointing qualifying. Chiles and Suni Lee will each compete in two events.
How to watch Olympic gymnastics in USA
The women’s team final will begin at 6 a.m. ET and will primarily be broadcast on NBC’s free streaming app, Peacock. The app will also allow users to rewatch events after they happen. Those who aren’t able to watch the early-morning coverage can watch a tape-delayed telecast on NBC in prime time.
Olympic gymnastics schedule 2021
The Olympic gymnasts’ focus will turn to the all-around final after the team final Tuesday. Team USA’s Simone Biles and Suni Lee will compete in the all-around Thursday morning. Event finals will take place Aug. 1-3 and will be flanked by trampoline competitions and rhythmic qualifying and finals, both group and individual.
Most of the events will be broadcast on Peacock, CNBC and USA, but those hoping to catch some of the action in prime time are in luck. NBC will re-air gymnastics events most nights with a focus on the women’s squad.
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