Biles set to return to competition for balance beam final

Aug 1, 2021, 9:24 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2021, 10:01 am

TOKYO (AP) — Simone Biles will at last return to Olympic competition Tuesday on Day 11 of the Tokyo Games.

The 2016 Olympic champion pulled out of competition a little over a week ago to focus on her mental health, but will return for the balance beam final in what will certainly be the highlight of NBC’s coverage.

The men’s horizontal and parallel bars will also be decided.

It will be a big night at Olympic Stadium for American hurdlers Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad. They are expected to race each other for the gold in the 400-meter hurdles.

The women’s golf tournament begins with four Americans — Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson — headlining the 60-player field.

Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):

BILES IS BACK

Simone Biles was the face of these Olympic Games leading into Tokyo until a case of the “twisties” sidelined the six-time Olympic medalist.

Biles, citing issues surrounding air awareness, first pulled out of team competition after one event and said she needed time to focus on her mental health. She also skipped four of her five scheduled events, only announcing Monday that she’d return for the balance beam.

“We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow — Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.

The 24-year-old Biles won bronze on beam in Rio de Janeiro five years ago. Lee won the women’s all-around while Biles sat out, bronze in the uneven bars and was part of the group that won silver in women’s team competition.

The women’s balance beam final will be streamed live on Peacock starting at 4 a.m. with an encore — along with the men’s horizontal bar final — during NBC’s primetime coverage beginning at 8 p.m.

AMERICAN SHOWDOWN

The month-long battle between Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad continues at Olympic Stadium as both hurdlers eye the gold medal in the 400 meters.

McLaughlin is the world record holder at 51.90 seconds, but the mark could be broken at the Tokyo Games, by either her or rival Dalilah Muhammad. Both made it through the rainy semifinals to advance into the final with an Olympic gold medal on the line.

Each time the two have met, the world record has fallen.

The race will be shown live in NBC’s primetime coverage along with the women’s 800-meter final, women’s 200-meter final and the men’s 200-meter semifinals.

NBC SPORTS

There’s a full day of coverage on NBC Sports Network that begins at 4 a.m. and runs all the way through 2 a.m.

Among the events scheduled for live coverage is the semifinals of the men’s soccer tournament, and the women’s quarterfinal in beach volleyball.

Alice Dearing, the first Black female swimmer for Great Britain, will make her Olympic debut in the women’s marathon. Dearing gained attention when FINA said she could not use a swim cap designed to accommodate her Afro.

A replay of the U.S. men’s basketball game against Spain will be shown in coverage beginning at 8 p.m.

WOMEN’S GOLF

The entire first round of the women’s golf tournament will be shown live from Kasumigaseki Country Club beginning at 6:30 p.m. on The Golf Channel. The Americans have four contenders in Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson.

FOR THE LATE CROWD

Both the women’s park skateboarding final and the quarterfinals of women’s volleyball will be shown live beginning at 12:05 a.m. on NBC.

The quarterfinals of the women’s basketball tournament will be on USA Network at 12:40 a.m.

The Olympic Channel will host wrestling starting at 5:15 a.m. with finals and semifinals running until 1 p.m. Competition resumes at 10 p.m. for four additional hours of wrestling matches.

___

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Biles set to return to competition for balance beam final