Simone Biles set for competitive gymnastics comeback in August

Star US gymnast had to withdraw from competitions during the Tokyo Olympics

US gymnast Simone Biles poses with her bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. AP
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Olympic gold medalist and gymnastics star Simone Biles is set to make her first competitive appearance since the Tokyo Olympics after entering the US Classic, USA Gymnastics announced on Wednesday.

The competition in August will be her first since the four-time Olympic gold medallist withdrew from most of her events in Tokyo in 2021 over mental health and safety concerns.

Biles will be joined by Sunisa Lee, who won gold in the all-around final in Tokyo, and fellow teammates Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles.

"Every athlete is at a different place in their season and career, and we will support each of them, wherever they are in their journey," USA Gymnastics chief programmes officer Stefanie Korepin said.

Biles, 26, made headlines after pulling out of the team competition and other individual events to prioritise her health at the Tokyo Games.

She took home a silver medal in the team final there as well as a bronze medal on the balance beam, tying the record for most Olympic medals by an American female gymnast.

Biles served as a cheerleader as her American teammates won the team silver then sat out the all-around, vault and floor exercise finals she had qualified for while dealing with what is known as “the twisties” - a gymnastics term for when an athlete loses their spatial awareness when airborne.

Biles returned for the balance beam final, where she won a bronze medal that tied Shannon Miller's record for most Olympic medals by an American female gymnast. She has talked about competing at the Paris 2024 Olympics but only after taking a lengthy break.

Biles has won 25 world championships medals, 19 of them gold, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Joe Biden in 2022.

The U. Classic is one of the main events on the US gymnastics calendar and serves as a warm-up of sorts for the national championships, this year scheduled for August in San Jose.

Updated: June 29, 2023, 6:40 AM