TOKYO (REUTERS) - Sunisa Lee claimed the coveted all-around gold medal many expected to see go to her United States teammate Simone Biles on Thursday (July 29), as the Tokyo Olympics gymnastics competition moved on without its biggest star.
With Biles watching from the front row at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Lee clinched gold in the all-around to secure the title for the United States' for a fifth consecutive Games on the final rotation - the floor exercise - to post a winning total of 57.433.
Surprise package 22-year-old Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, who had topped the rankings most of the evening, grabbed the silver for her country's first ever medal in women's gymnastics.
Angelina Melnikova completed the podium, taking the bronze for the Russian Olympic Committee.
Considered heir apparent to Biles, 18-year-old Lee had her moment arrive sooner than expected.
Biles, winner of every all-around competition she entered since 2013, threw the fight for the Olympic gold wide open when she decided not to defend her Rio Games all-around title having dropped out of the team event on Tuesday after one poor vault citing the need to focus on her mental health.