The team of Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian lived up to expectations as prohibitive favorites by putting up the highest total score on every apparatus. Russia won silver and China bronze. The margin of victory was a whopping 8 points.
The USA women’s gymnastics team obviously did not come to play in Rio – they literally vaulted ahead of the competition during the qualifying round on Sunday.
Veteran Aly Raisman and it-girl Simone Biles will advance to the all-around final, where they will battle with China, who scored second in the qualifiers. In total, Team USA scored an unprecedented 10 points higher than China on Sunday.
Team USA holds the chance to win 10 gold medals in every finals event, including vault, beams, bar, and floor exercises.
Crowd favorite Gabby Douglas opened the competition with a floor exercise, but in the end, her 14.366 score was dropped from the team total. Laurie Hernandez, Raisman, and Biles’s scores were counted towards the team total.
According to The Huffington Post, four out of five team members compete for each event, and the three highest scores count towards the team’s total number.
Next was the vault competition. Biles was utter perfection as she nailed two of the hardest vaults in the competition, scoring 16.050, the highest of any gymnast during the meet. Raisman came in second with a solid 15.766.
On the bars, Madison Kocian led the team with a high score of 15.866, while Douglas came in third behind Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, with 15.766.
But it was the beam exercise that most were looking forward to. Douglas and Biles both fell during last month’s Olympic trials. On Sunday, they didn’t disappoint, landing explosive performances. Biles came in first for Team USA with 15.633, and Hernandez came in second, scoring 15.366 and beating out Brazilian gymnast and crowd favorite, Flavia Saraiva. Douglas came in third for USA with 14.833.
Unfortunately, Douglas will not be able to compete in the finals to defend her Olympic medal for the beam exercise, due to the “two-per” rule, which says that only two gymnasts from each country are able to compete in the finals. She will, however, compete for the bars.
Team USA is slated to compete in the finals on Tuesday.