Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title in Thursday's individual all-around competition in order to focus on her mental health, USA Gymnastics has confirmed.

The four-time gold medallist from Rio completed only one event in Tuesday's team competition at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, registering the lowest score of the first rotation.

Biles left the floor with a trainer and, although she later returned donned in a tracksuit, she opted not to continue and remained to support her team-mates who could only secure silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

Following the team event, Biles opened up on her struggles at Tokyo 2020 and said she would take it day-by-day before making a decision.

USA Gymnastics subsequently announced she will not participate on Thursday and will continue to be evaluated before a decision is made on whether she takes part in the individual event finals, which take place next week.

"After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health," a USA Gymnastics statement read.

"Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around."

USA Gymnastics hailed Biles for her decision to put her own well-being ahead of competing.

"We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being," the governing body added.

"Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."

Katie Ledecky called on a source of inspiration close to home as she ended her wait for a gold at the Tokyo Games with victory in the women's 1500m freestyle final.

Ledecky, who Olympic great Micheal Phelps hailed as "the best female swimmer that we have ever seen", had endured a frustrating start to the Games, failing to defend the 200 metre and 400m free golds which she won at Rio 2016.

Australia's Ariarne Titmus has instead enjoyed the breakthrough to stardom this time around, but Ledecky finally struck gold in Tokyo as she powered to glory in the maiden women's 1500m event.

It took her total of Olympic golds to six – the 24-year-old becoming the fourth female swimmer to reach that mark, after compatriots Jenny Thompson (eight) and Amy van Dyken (six), and Germany's Kristin Otto (six).

Ledecky, who clocked in at 15:37.34, is also just the fourth American woman to claim six golds, after Thompson, Van Dyken and Allyson Felix.

Erica Sullivan clinched silver to seal a one-two for Team USA, and Ledekcy revealed her thought process following a disappointing fifth-place finish in the 200m race.

"After the 200, I knew I had to turn the page very quickly and in the warm-down pool I was just thinking of my family," said Ledecky, who has now won gold medals at three different Games, following success in London, at the age of 15, and Rio.

"Each stroke I was thinking of my grandparents. They're the toughest four people I know and that's what helped me get through that.

“It means a lot. People maybe feel bad that I'm not winning everything, but I want people to be more concerned about other things in the world. People are truly suffering. I'm just proud to bring home a gold medal to Team USA.”

Sullivan's silver handed the USA's first one-two finish in a women's swimming race since Sydney 2000, when Brooke Bennett and Diana Munz wrapped up the top prizes in the 400m freestyle.

“I'm so happy to go one-two with Erica," Ledecky added. "It is the first women's 1500m (freestyle in Olympic history) so I couldn’t have a better outcome than that. I’m so, so happy."

Sarah Kohler completed the podium to become the first German swimmer to win an Olympic medal since 2008.

One of the enduring images of Tokyo 2020 will be the sight of Dean Boxall's exuberant celebrations after Ariane Titmus won an epic women's 400 metres freestyle race.

It was the sheer joy and exuberance on the face of the rock-star looking coach as he wildly revelled in the momentous achievement of his pupil, who had just toppled the great Katie Ledecky in the most sensational fashion.

"I can't help it. I bleed with my athletes. When they leave the pool deck with me – whether I'm having a chat with them for an hour if it has to be – but when they leave, they have to start the recovery process and go home. They switch off. I don't. I go home and dream for them. I go home and try and find a way for them to get better," Boxall explained after he had gone viral on social media.

Titmus herself saw the funny side.

"That's just the way Dean is," she said. "He's very passionate about what he does – he really becomes quite animated.

"This is just as much for him as it is for me. He has sacrificed a lot in his family life, his kids and his wife, for his job. He puts 100 per cent into being a swimming coach. I would not be here without him."

But it was something else Boxall said that really went furthest to explaining his emotional display.

"I've been with her for five years. Having a dream together. Katie was so far in front of us that in the beginning when I started to coach her I couldn't even have this conversation," he said.

"When Arnie came to me she was a 4.12 [in the 400m]. At that stage Katie went 3.56. That's 16 seconds. We just started chipping away, we started to believe."

From a dream, to belief, to the reality of being an Olympic champion.

On Wednesday, Titmus would confirm her status as a breakout star of Tokyo 2020 with another victory in the 200m free filled with fight, desire and a never-say-die attitude.

Billed as Titmus versus Ledecky II, there was a sense of deja vu about Litmus' performance but another battle with her equally brilliant rival – now a six-time gold medallist over three Games after winning the first ever Olympics women's 1500m race – failed to transpire as the American could only finish fifth.

Instead it was Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey who brought the very best out of Titmus. It took a huge effort down the final 50m to break the Olympics record in a time of 1:53.50.

At the medal ceremony there were tears and a warm embrace with Boxall, the emotion spilling out of this cool customer after becoming just the third Australian, along with Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe, to complete a 200 and 400m free double at a single Olympics.

"I feel like I'm pretty good at containing my emotion I knew that's something I had to do after the 400 because the 200 was right after," Titmus told a news conference after doubling up.

"Now that I haven't got a swim tonight I think I kind of let it out a bit, seeing him [Boxall] and seeing him emotional makes me emotional because this is a great partnership, this isn't just me winning, this is him winning so I think that's why I got so emotional."

For the uninitiated, this week is not the first time Titmus has triumphed over Ledecky, the 20-year-old from Tasmania having taken out the gold at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

But Ledecky, who had won the 200 and 400m free at Rio in 2016, had been contending at that meet with a stomach virus and prior to this week it was far from certain where the golds were headed.

Titmus has emphatically answered the question, though, and it is her personable qualities that have made her resonate this week.

So too have the ferocity, tenacity and sheer awesome speed of her performances.

The Aquatics Centre, as Titmus herself adhered to when addressing the media, provides about as close to a normal experience as you're likely to find at Tokyo 2020. While there are still swathes of empty seats in this 15,000 capacity venue, there are areas designated to team-mates and coaches – all cheering, chanting and applauding to create at least some semblance of an Olympics atmosphere. 

But it is Litmus' displays that have brought true electricity, not only to the pool but for the Games at large.

Two more chances at gold lie in wait in the 800m (where Ledecky, a gifted long-distance swimmer, is favourite) and the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Regardless of what happens in those races, a new star has been born.

Ariarne Titmus stole the show again in the pool at Tokyo 2020, while Yui Ohashi also doubled up and Katie Ledecky got herself on the gold trail.

Australia's Titmus was back competing against Ledecky just two days on from their epic in the 400m free, though the latter was not in medal contention this time in the shorter 200.

However, the American – who has previously described herself as a "distance swimmer with a sprinter's mentality" – did become a six-time Olympic gold medallist on Wednesday.

Here's a round-up from the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

TERRIFIC TITMUS DOUBLES UP

Wednesday's 200m freestyle race was billed as Titmus versus Ledecky II, with the former upstaging her American rival in the 400m free in a thriller two days earlier.

This time Ledecky was off the pace down in fifth and it was Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey providing the test as Titmus had to pull one out of the bag again to get the gold.

A storming last 50m propelled her to a new Olympic record time of 1:53.50 and cemented her status as a breakout star.

"I could see I was trying to mow Siobhan down on the third 50. I had no idea where she was on the last lap. I knew I had Penny [Oleksiak, bronze] covered but Siobhan was the person that was there," Titmus said.

"I felt a little bit that was there. I felt a little bit - my legs started to go a bit but I'm happy to get it done."

Titmus joins Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe as the only Australians to complete a 200/400m freestyle double at a single Games.

JOY OF SIX FOR LEDECKY

She may have been unable to retain two of her titles from 2016 but the awesome Ledecky added to her gold medal haul with a dominant win in the first ever women's 1500m free Olympics final.

The American came home in 15:37.34 to lead a US one-two from Erica Sullivan.

Ledecky has now won gold medals at three different Games, having also topped the 800m free podium at London 2012.

OHASHI MARVELS IN IM ONCE MORE

Another star of these Games has been Ohashi, who will have delighted the Japanese fans watching at home after adding to her 400 individual medley crown in the shorter 200m race.

A race tipped to be wide open proved to be so with Ohashi battling stroke-for-stroke down the final 50m with American Alex Walsh, who was pipped by just 0.13 seconds.

Walsh's compatriot Kate Douglass rounded off the podium in third.

MILAK MAULS RIVALS

You can never be fully certain of an outcome in any sport but Kristof Milak was about as close to a shoo-in in the men's 200m butterfly as you can get.

So it proved to be. The Hungarian at least had the good decency to allow his rivals to believe they had a chance before absolutely blasting them out the water with his trademark finishing power.

Milak came home in a time of 1:51.25, a new Olympic benchmark and only half a second off his own world-record time. Japan's Tomoru Honda took silver from lane eight, some 2.48 seconds adrift.

DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR DEAN AS TEAMGB STAR IN RELAY

There was to be no record for TeamGB in the men's 4x200 free but they utterly dominated the competition to bring home gold in a time of 6:58.58.

Tom Dean, champion over the distance in the individual race on Tuesday, anchored the first leg before James Guy hit the front on his stint.

Matt Richards further stretched the advantage and Duncan Scott – who took silver behind Dean – brought it home in style with the Russian Olympic Committee over three seconds behind to take silver.

Australian swimming star Ariarne Titmus says her gold medal winning heroics are yet to fully sink in after de-throning Katie Ledecky to win the women's 200m freestyle on Wednesday.

Titmus edged out Ledecky in Monday's women's 100m freestyle final and backed that up with her second gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Australian won in 1:53:50, setting a new Olympic record, as she edged out Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey by 0.42 seconds.

Canada's Penny Oleksiak claimed bronze, with five-time Olympic gold medallist Ledecky finishing down in fifth.

Titmus looked calm and composed in the pool after winning her second gold, with further races to come into the 4x200m freestyle relay and 800m freestyle.

"I don’t think it'll settle in until I get home and have a rest," Titmus told Australian TV network 7 after the race. "When you're in this situation you have to compartmentalise everything.

"I think once I stop racing, I think I'll release everything. On to the relay and 800m now. I don't want to ruin the rest of my meet by celebrating too hard. I'm proud with what I've achieved."

Haughey led Titmus at the final turn but the Australian stormed home over the last 50m, similar to Monday's win over Ledecky, although she said her "legs started to go".

"I was trying to mow Siobhan down in the third 50," Titmus said. "I had no idea where she was in the last five.

"I knew I had Penny covered but Siobhan was the person that was there. At the end my legs started to go but I'm happy to get it done."

She added: "Before we left, Sydney went into lockdown, it's really sad. I'm happy that the Olympics are here and we can hopefully bring some excitement to loungerooms.

"I'm fortunate to be here. I'm from a small town in Tassie [Tasmania]. It goes to show, if you believe you can do something, you can 100 per cent do it if you work for it."

Team USA star forward Kevin Durant remains bullish about the side's ability to adjust their game in their pursuit of a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

USA were beaten 83-76 by France in their opening game at the Tokyo Olympics having been beaten by Australia and Nigeria in exhibition games in the lead-up.

The losses have led to criticism of the cohesion of Team USA who are 15-time Olympic gold medalists, but Durant insisted there was no panic ahead of Wednesday's second group game against Iran.

"Our adjustment is we just make more shots," Durant said. "We've got the best talent in the world on the team."

USA led throughout the first half against France before collapsing down the stretch, surrendering a 74-67 advantage.

"We got each other good shots," Durant added. "We know how to play off each other."

USA assistant coach Lloyd Pierce reiterated Durant's calmness about the situation, stating they need to remain confident.

"The keys to beating these guys is just being ourselves, worrying about what we do best," Pierce said.

"We want to get out and play fast and create extra possessions throughout the course of the games.

"It's only 40 minutes, we have to make this game a little bit faster and get as many easy shots as we can.

"We have to be ourselves as well. Our guys have to play with confidence, have to play with the freedom they're used to, they also have to do that together, make simple plays, quick plays and enjoy the experience."

Brooklyn Nets forward Durant provided a positive assessment of the impact of Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker who played against France after competing in the NBA Finals last week.

The trio arrived barely 48 hours before the France game, with Holiday top scoring with 18 points plus four assists from 27 minutes.

Booker shot poorly, with four points and three assists from 18 minutes, while Middleton only had five minutes of game time.

"What they did to me felt like just who they are," Durant said. "I always have a high-level respect for all three of those guys.

"For them to come out and play, not really complain about anything, be excited to be here [full credit]. Those guys are amazing talents, it's great being around them."

Host nation Japan remain top of the Olympic Games medal table, one gold medal clear of the United States and China, thanks to another two gold medals on Tuesday in Tokyo.

Japan now have 10 golds at the Games, five of which have come in Judo, despite home favourite Naomi Osaka crashing out to Czech world number 42 Marketa Vondrousova in the women's singles tennis.

The USA extended their gold medal count to nine, with 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby stealing the headlines courtesy of gold in the 100m breaststroke – their third in the pool so far – though they had to settle for silver in softball as they lost to table-toppers Japan.

China, who have dominated the shooting to win eight medals in nine events, picked up three more golds with success in the 10m air pistol mixed event, the 10m air rifle mixed event and the women's 10m synchronised platform - their second diving gold in Tokyo.

The Russian Olympic Committee remain fourth with seven golds after winning the day's big event, the women's team artistic gymnastics, but that was overshadowed due to American Simone Biles withdrawing due to concerns over her mental health.

The Russians surprised in the pool, too, with Evgeny Rylov claiming 100m backstroke gold that forced defending Olympic champion Ryan Murphy to settle for bronze – that result represented the USA's first backstroke defeat since the 1992 Barcelona games.

After team-mate Adam Peaty's call for a British gold surge, Tom Dean and Duncan Scott made history by winning the first British swimming one-two since 1908 in the 200m freestyle.

Dean and Scott's swimming achievements capped a positive day for Great Britain that saw them collect six medals in total to stay in fifth place.

Meanwhile, Flora Duffy made history for Bermuda with gold in the women's triathlon as the tiny Caribbean island became the smallest country to ever win Gold at the Summer Games.

 

There was plenty of drama in Tokyo on Tuesday and that is set to continue as the Olympic Games ramps up further on Wednesday.

A titanic tussle in the swimming pool should be well worth watching, but action on the bikes and in the basketball court will also draw plenty of eyes.

Stats Perform guides you through the events not to be missed.

TITMUS OUT TO TOP LEDECKY AGAIN

Katie Ledecky is one of the dominant forces in the pool, taking gold in each of her prior four individual Games finals since her 2012 debut as she headed to Tokyo, but she was upset in the 2020 opener.

Ariarne Titmus, the 20-year-old Australian, beat the United States' world record holder by more than half a second in the 400m freestyle final.

Now, Titmus is coming for Ledecky's crown again as the pair do battle in the 200m freestyle, where another victory would send a significant message.

TOUR STARS TAKE ON TIME TRIAL

There are no shortage of big names in the men's time trial, with a number of Grand Tour winners involved – including Geraint Thomas, no doubt determined to put on a show after his fall in the road race.

The last two men to head out perhaps represent the most likely Olympic champions, though, as Wout van Aert and Filippo Ganna go for gold.

Van Aert won the final two stages of the Tour de France, including a time trial on the penultimate day of the race.

FOCUS ON THE FOUR

The first rowing medals of the Games are to be handed out on Wednesday, and the women's four – back in the Olympics for the first time in 30 years – should provide plenty of intrigue.

World champions Australia changed their line-up for the Olympics, having not competed internationally since taking their title in 2019. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, world silver medallists and back-to-back European champions, have been dominant.

The two teams won their respective heats, but Australia's time of six minutes and 28.76 seconds was an Olympic best and almost five seconds quicker than the Dutch. Whether that chasm will remain when the boats are side by side is another matter.

TWO-WAY TUSSLE IN THE GYM

There is more gymnastics action to look forward, with the men's individual final taking place.

Home hope Daiki Hashimoto qualified with the best score and was outstanding for Japan in the team event, yet could only take silver as the hosts were pipped by the Russian Olympic Committee.

It was Nikita Nagornyy's floor routine which sealed that Russian success and he will be bidding for another gold, having trailed Hashimoto in second in qualification.

CAN DREAM TEAM RECOVER FROM NIGHTMARE START?

The United States' latest men's basketball title defence started in miserable fashion with a defeat to France, the team who eliminated them at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

It was Team USA's first Olympics loss since 2004, but it is highly unlikely a second will follow as they face Iran. A big performance is needed regardless to calm the critics.

While France delivered the upset in the basketball, they face their own humiliation in the football. Only a two-goal win against hosts Japan, themselves needing a point, will secure progress through Group A for Les Bleus.

Simone Biles said she had put her "mental health first" after missing out on adding a fifth Olympic gold medal to her collection following an early withdrawal from the women’s team final.

The 24-year-old gymnastics icon revealed she was “dealing with things internally” after a disappointing performance on the vault.

Biles posted the lowest score of the first rotation on Tuesday as she landed awkwardly after failing to execute an Amanar, while only completing a Yurchenko 1.5 twist.

After she subsequently withdrew, Team USA had to settle for a silver medal behind the Russian Olympic Committee while Great Britain completed the podium.

Biles admitted that she was "fighting demons", explaining: "I just don't trust myself as much as I used to. I don't know if it's age. I'm a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics. I feel like I'm also not having as much fun."

She added: "I say, 'put mental health first'. Because if you don't, you won't enjoy sport and won't succeed as much as you want to.

"So it's okay sometimes to sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong a competitor and person that you really are, rather than just battling through it."


OSAKA STUNNED

The big names continue to tumble in the women’s singles tennis event, with second seed Naomi Osaka defeated in straight sets.

The home favourite, who lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday, was denied a place in the quarter-finals after being ousted 6-1 6-4 by world number 42 Marketa Vondrousova.

This event marked Osaka’s first competitive tennis in two months since her early withdrawal from the French Open at the end of May, citing mental health issues.

The world number two is the latest of the big names to fall at the Tokyo Games, with top seed Ash Barty and third seed Aryna Sabalenka also suffering early exits.

"Of course, it's one of the biggest wins of my career," Vondrousova said. "Naomi is a great player, so I knew it would be a tough match. 

“I'm very happy with my play. I played amazingly in the first set, and then the second set was really tough. I'm just happy to be through."

 


ARGENTINA RECOVER TO SEE OFF SPRINGBOKS

Argentina recovered from a dreadful start to beat South Africa and book their place in the rugby seven semi-finals.

Trailing 7-0 after just under two minutes, the Pumas were then reduced to six men when Gaston Revol - who was reduced to tears - was shown a straight red card.

Nevertheless, they demonstrated tremendous resilience and character before eventually running out 19-14 winners.

Argentina will play Fiji in the last four after the reigning Olympic champions swept Australia aside 19-0.

Great Britain stormed back from 21-0 down to beat the USA, scoring four tries to secure a dramatic 26-21 victory.

Team GB will play New Zealand, who eased to a 21-10 success over Canada.

Simone Biles outlined the importance of athletes' mental health as she talked through her decision to sit out the women's team all-around final on Tuesday.

The gymnastics superstar's first final of the Tokyo Olympics attracted plenty of attention at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, beginning a bid for a record-breaking six golds at one Games.

But the United States could only secure silver after Biles bowed out following her first routine.

Biles – the sport's premier performer – posted the lowest score of the first rotation (13.766) on the vault and immediately left the floor with a trainer.

Her absence from the remainder of the competition was confirmed by USA Gymnastics due to what the organisation said was a "medical issue".

But Biles opened up on the reasons for departure following the event, which was won by the Russian Olympic Committee.

Asked if she was injured, Biles said: "No, just my pride is hurt a little bit."

The 24-year-old added she was "fighting demons" and explained: "I just don't trust myself as much as I used to. I don't know if it's age. I'm a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics. I feel like I'm also not having as much fun."

At a Team USA news conference, Biles offered a more positive message, following in the footsteps of Japan icon Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from a series of high-profile tennis events to preserve her welfare before representing her country in the Olympics on home soil.

"I say, 'put mental health first'," Biles said, asked if Osaka's stance was inspirational.

"Because if you don't, you won't enjoy sport and won't succeed as much as you want to.

"So it's okay sometimes to sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong a competitor and person that you really are, rather than just battling through it."

Biles would accept no credit for her team's medal, saying: "I didn't do my job, they came out and they stepped up.

"They did what they needed to do and more, last minute. This medal is all them and the coaches and it has nothing to do with me. They did it without me."

The United States will face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the women's football tournament at Tokyo 2020 after being held 0-0 by Australia to finish second in Group G.

USA bounced back from a shock 3-0 loss to Sweden in their opening game with a 6-1 win against New Zealand, but they dropped further points in the round-robin stage on Tuesday.

Previously unbeaten in 44 games before that Sweden loss, USA failed to break down Australia's defence – Alex Morgan's disallowed goal for offside the closest they came to doing so.

Mary Fowler hit the crossbar for Australia and in the end a point apiece was a fair outcome, with the Matildas also advancing to play Great Britain in the last eight.

It is the first time in history record four-time winners USWNT have finished with fewer than six points in the group stage of a major global tournament.

 

RAMPANT DUTCH AWAIT USA

Sweden were already assured of a place in the last eight ahead of their clash with New Zealand and saw the job through with a 2-0 win at Miyagi Stadium to finish ahead of USA.

Anna Anvegard and Madelen Janogy were on target for Sweden before half-time and they saw out a straightforward win that condemned New Zealand to a group-stage exit.

It means USA will now take on the Netherlands in the next round in what is a repeat of the 2019 Women's World Cup final. The Netherlands lost that match, but they enter this latest showdown in superb form after thrashing China 8-2 in Yokohama.

Lineth Beerensteyn, Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema all scored twice in the one-sided affair, while Shanice van de Sanden and Victoria Pelova were also on target.

The Netherlands' tally of 21 goals from three games is already the most scored by a team in a single women's football Olympics event, surpassing the USA's 16 from London 2012.

HOSTS JAPAN SCRAPE THROUGH

Japan did all that they could in the final round of group games by beating Chile 1-0 through a Mina Tanaka goal 13 minutes from time.

That win took the tournament hosts to four points from three games, enough to send them through as one of the best third-placed sides, along with Australia.

Already through to the quarter-finals, Great Britain snatched top spot with a late 1-1 draw against second-placed Canada in Tuesday's other Group E match.

Caroline Weir's long-range free-kick with 84 minutes played took a heavy deflection and cancelled out Adriana Leon's opener.

Brazil also booked their spot in the knockout stages thanks to Andressa's first-half free-kick in their 1-0 win against the tournament's lowest-ranked side in Zambia, who lost Lushomo Mweemba to an early red card. 

The Selecao meet Canada in the quarters, while Australia await Great Britain.

Even in the absence of spectators at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre there was still a palpable tension when Simone Biles left the arena after finishing just one event in the women's team final on Tuesday.

An eager press tribune ready to witness the star attraction of these Games fell flat in concern when Biles, after one unconvincing performance on the vault which yielded the lowest score of the first rotation, headed to the back with a trainer while the team were involved in frantic discussions.

The warning signs had been there during the warm-up when Biles failed to complete an Amanar, a difficult vault but routine for someone of her immense talent. When it happened again in competition there was almost a stunned silence, Biles seemed to be nearing tears and her team-mates flabbergasted by what had transpired.

She would return but, donned in a tracksuit, it was announced Biles would take no further part and the team of Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum would complete the night for Team USA. The United States could only take silver, marking their first team defeat at a Worlds or Olympics since 2010.

USA Gymnastics later announced Biles had been pulled due to an unspecified "medical issue" and that her condition for the other five events she is scheduled to appear at will be "assessed daily", while NBC Sports attributed a Team USA coach with saying Biles' withdrawal was not injury related and due to a "mental issue she is having".

Biles had opened up on the pressures the Olympics brings following Sunday's qualifying, during which she made some uncharacteristic mistakes in an error-strewn team performance that saw USA outscored by the Russian Olympic Committee in what proved an eerie prelude.

"It wasn't an easy day or my best but I got through it," Biles posted.

"I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me, but damn sometimes it's hard hahaha!

"The Olympics is no joke. BUT I'm happy my family was able to be with me virtually. They mean the world to me."

The concerns over Biles' well-being will stretch far beyond the watching press pack at the arena. Those tuning in around the world will greatly hope this is not the way this megastar's Games come to an end.

Moreover, so will the organisers of the Games, who are desperately relying on the biggest stars to bring some positive PR to an Olympics many never wanted.

Having already had cauldron lighter Naomi Osaka, who returned to represent Japan after a self-imposed two-month hiatus during which she opened up about her battles with depression and anxiety, beaten in the third round of the women's tennis earlier in the day, to see Biles not compete would represent another hammer blow.

The IOC had earlier described its digital audience figures for Tokyo 2020 as "very good", but as the only way for fans to watch these Games is from the comfort of their own homes, you would kind of expect that to be the case.

If you want an idea of how important Biles is to these Games, consider that IOC president Thomas Bach was seen in conversation with the star attraction before congratulating the gold medallists. Biles herself had shown her textbook humility by being among the first to congratulate the victors in a moment of sheer class.

For these Olympics, held in the midst of a deadly pandemic, to actually be remembered for the right reasons, Tokyo 2020 needs to showcase the successes of athletes securing their crowning glories despite the unthinkable challenges posed for over a year and a half.

Such concerns are of course secondary to the welfare of a 24-year-old woman, who confirmed she is not injured, carrying so many hopes and pressures, whose delivery of the message "put mental health first" is as, if not more, inspiring than her brilliance on the floor.

This was the first of six gold-medal opportunities for Biles. Her stacked programme includes what many predicted to be a routine defence of her all-around crown, while she is slated to appear in the finals of the beam, uneven bars, vault and floor exercise.

She has designs on winning the most gymnastic gold medals at a single Games (she already owns the co-record with four following her haul at Rio 2016), while three more would see her overtake Shannon Miller as America's most decorated Olympic gymnast.

Biles later said she is "dealing with something internally" and that things would be taken day by day for the rest of the Games.

Speaking at a news conference, she would elaborate on the issues she has been contending with.

"It's been really stressful this Olympic Games on the whole, with no fans, it's been a long process, a long year, and lots of variable," she said. 

"We're all a little bit too stressed out, we should be enjoying ourselves.

"Today was really stressful, we had a workout this morning, it went okay then that five-and-a-half-hour wait I was shaking, I could barely nap. I've never felt that way before a competition."

That we all hope she will compete again at this Olympics goes without saying. 

But, perhaps save for Osaka, there is arguably no athlete more important to these Games. And, as Osaka has gone to great lengths to demonstrate this year, protection of mental health and well-being must come before all else.

Simone Biles is "dealing with things internally" after she withdrew from the women's team final at Tokyo 2020 after just one rotation.

Biles was confirmed to have pulled out with a "medical issue" following a disappointing performance on the vault.

She landed awkwardly after failing to execute an Amanar and completing only a Yurchenko 1.5 twist.

Biles posted the lowest score of the first rotation on Tuesday before pulling out, with NBC reporting her withdrawal was down to a "mental issue she is having", according to comments from a Team USA coach.

Team USA were unable to defend their title and had to settle for silver, losing out to the Russian Olympic Committee, with Great Britain taking bronze.

But they were satisfied with the resilience they showed in the face of adversity, Biles indicating she would return for the women's all-around final on Thursday.

The now six-time Olympic medallist told BBC Sport: "I'm okay, just dealing with things internally that will get fixed out in the next couple of days.

"It's made us stronger [as a team] for sure."

Asked if she would be back on Thursday, Biles replied: "Yes."

Biles is the defending champion in the all-around from Rio 2016, where she also won gold in the vault and floor exercise.

Kei Nishikori was as surprised as anybody by Naomi Osaka going out of the Tokyo Olympics, but stressed it did not add to pressure on his shoulders.

Japan's two standard-setters in tennis are at opposite ends of their careers, with Nishikori seemingly in a slow decline and Osaka expected to add significantly to her four grand slams.

But the focus on the Japanese public looks set to switch to Nishikori for the rest of the tennis, after he reached the last-16 stage with a 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-1 win over American Marcos Giron on Tuesday.

Former world number four Nishikori and Ben McLachlan are through to the doubles quarter-finals too, which may be a likelier route to a medal.

Nishikori already has a bronze to his name from the 2016 Games, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the third-place match.

When asked whether he felt expectations shifting from Osaka on to his shoulders, after she lost to Marketa Vondrousova, Nishikori said: "Not really. I just need to focus on what I have to do on the court.

"It's very sad, of course, that Naomi lost and a surprise. But I knew she had a lot of pressure, this is her first time in the Olympics and I know it's not easy.

"I didn't see her match today, so I cannot say much."

Should Nishikori, now down at 69th in the rankings, beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus on Wednesday, that could set up a quarter-final against hot favourite Novak Djokovic.


REVENGE FOR VILLAGE FAN TSITSIPAS

It was a weary Stefanos Tsitsipas who was pummelled in the first round of Wimbledon by Frances Tiafoe last month. On Tuesday, a more predictable outcome manifested as Greece's great hope scored a 6-3 6-4 victory over his American opponent.

That loss in London came barely a fortnight after Tsitsipas suffered a heartbreaking loss to Djokovic in the French Open final, from two sets up, and he was succinct with his verdict about what was different this time.

"Concentration and attention levels," was the Tsitsipas assessment.

Next for him is a testing third-round tussle with French shot-maker Ugo Humbert, and Tsitsipas will want to hang around, having been charmed by the Olympic Village experience after so long in the tennis bubble.

"It's a different contrast, it's a different approach completely," Tsitsipas said. "I've made friendships, connected with some other athletes. It's nice to be able to experience something like this. I find the Olympics are really a nice sports event.

"I met a big tennis enthusiast from India. He's doing shooting and we became good friends. I met some of the other Greek athletes, table tennis players, and rowers from different countries."


BRILLIANT BROADY

Liam Broady was a late addition to the Olympics draw and is making the most of the opportunity, with the unheralded British left-hander scoring a terrific 7-5 3-6 6-3 second-round win over Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz.

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy awaits Broady after beating Russian Olympic Committee's Aslan Karatsev in three sets.

There were also wins on Tuesday for Karatsev's countryman Karen Khachanov and Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, while Wednesday's programme features the entire third-round line-up, including Djokovic's clash with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Naomi Osaka was never preordained to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics but it had felt that way until she ran into Marketa Vondrousova.

The surprising 6-1 6-4 loss that a lacklustre Osaka suffered on Tuesday could be explained away by the fact the 23-year-old had not played any competitive tennis since pulling out of the French Open at the end of May.

All the same, it was a major upset as world number 42 Vondrousova took out the highest remaining seed in the draw – the Japanese star who lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday.

Osaka's exit, after previous shock defeats for top seed Ash Barty and number three Aryna Sabalenka, has raised the prospect of a shock champion, just as occurred five years ago at the Rio Games when Monica Puig of Puerto Rico caused a sensation.

Now at the quarter-final stage, there is one former grand slam champion left in the field and two finalists at that level, but it really looks like anyone's title.


VONDROUSOVA SENSES AN OPPORTUNITY

It was remarkably straightforward for Vondrousova at Ariake Tennis Park, as she cruised through the opening set and soon reeled in Osaka's early break in the second.

Osaka saved two match points when serving to stay in the contest, but not a third, planting a backhand wide.

Considering Vondrousova reached the French Open final two years ago, in front of packed grandstands rather than the empty seats in Tokyo, it was no surprise she hesitated when asked whether this win over Osaka was the biggest of her career. It probably doesn't have that cachet, good a win though it was.

"Of course it's one of the biggest," Vondrousova said.

"Naomi is a great player, she has so many grand slams, so I knew it would be a tough match. But I'm just very happy with my play. I played amazingly in the first set, and then the second set was really tough. I'm just happy to be through.

"I think she was struggling a bit with my serving. Also, I use drop-shots very well. I'm just very happy with my game today."

She faces Spain Paula Badosa next and said: "It's very open now. I think every girl is playing really well. Now it's the quarter-final, so we'll see."


HAS SVITOLINA'S TIME ARRIVED?

A fixture in the top 10 over recent seasons, Svitolina has been unable to transfer her regular tour form onto the major stage on a consistent basis.

Maybe the Olympics will be a platform towards success on that stage, with Svitolina now the highest seed remaining in the draw, at number four. The Ukrainian is also on a high on the personal front, having married French tennis star Gael Monfils shortly before heading to Tokyo.

Two semi-finals, at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019, have been her deepest runs in the majors, and this season has been one of diminishing returns, with a fourth-round run in Australia followed by a third-round Roland Garros exit and a round-two loss at Wimbledon.

Svitolina beat Maria Sakkari of Greece 5-7 6-3 6-4 on Tuesday, setting up a quarter-final against Italian Camila Giorgi who won 6-4 6-2 against Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova.

"I don't think I'm a favourite because there are lots of good players here and everyone is quite equal," Svitolina said.


A MUG SHOT?

Should Spain's Garbine Muguruza be considered the favourite from this point? With French Open and Wimbledon titles in her trophy room, Muguruza has shown she has what it takes to triumph on a big stage, and a clinical 6-4 6-1 win over Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck on Tuesday was just the job.

She goes on to face Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who edged past Croatian Donna Vekic.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland caused a surprise by ousting the in-form reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, springing a 1-6 6-2 6-3 win that means there will be no repeat of the Roland Garros final in the quarter-finals.

That had been on the cards, but Bencic will be the player who takes on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the final four.

Pavlyuchenkova scored an impressive 6-1 6-3 victory over Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, the player who knocked out Barty in round one.

Russian Olympic Committee's Pavyluchenkova is looking to harness the form that took her to a maiden slam final, describing her Paris run as "a great experience to have".

"But every week is a new week and this is a new event," said the 30-year-old. "The Olympic Games is a very special event. It's different. It's nothing like the others."

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