Simone Biles proved she’s human after all. In a major surprise, Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands came away with the gold medal in the balance beam final. American Laurie Hernandez took the silver medal and Biles won the bronze.
Biles was off to a strong start on her routine, but nearly fell off the beam nearly halfway through. She needed to place both hands on the beam to prevent a total fall, but the deduction is nearly as harsh as a total fall.
The rest of the routine was up to the high standard set by Biles, including the dismount. That was enough to earn her a 14.733 score.
Wevers was consistent and precise, if not spectacular. Her sold performance earned her a 15.466 score, which stood up despite a solid routine from Hernandez.
Hernandez had just two slight bobbles, but otherwise came through with an outstanding performance that had Wevers, Hernandez and the crowd wondering if she had taken the lead. In the end, she just missed with a 15.333.
Wevers not only won the first gold for her country in women’s gymnastics, she captured the Netherlands’ first medal, period.
With the dream of five gold medals now over, Biles still has every opportunity to make it four for this year’s Olympics. Still to come is Tuesday’s floor exercise, where she excels. Also competing on Tuesday is all-around silver medalist Aly Raisman.