Speed Reads

2020 Tokyo Games

The U.S. gymnastics team finished a surprising 2nd place in qualifying. Will that fuel them?

The United States' women's gymnastics team is seeking its third straight gold medal at the 2020 Olympics, but their opening performance in Tokyo on Sunday wasn't as dominant as usual, leaving them in second place behind the Russian side after qualifying.

The New York Times notes that it wasn't particularly close, with the Russian gymnasts (who are not officially representing Russia because of a nationwide doping scandal) separating themselves by more than a point. But Tom Forster, the U.S. women's national team coordinator, suggested that realizing they have some serious competition could be just what the squad needs to turn things around. "This might be a great awakening for us, and we'll take advantage of it," he said, adding that the team made mental mistakes because of nerves, per the Times

Despite the disappointing start, there was plenty of good news for the team, including the fact that Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee qualified for the all-around finals. Biles, considered by many to be the greatest gymnast of all time, made quite a few errors throughout the day, but still had the highest all-around score, thanks to the difficulty of her routines. She remains on track to bring home six medals by the end of the Games. Read more at The New York Times.