Gymnast Simone Biles commented after she and her teammates faltered in the early rounds of women’s artistic gymnastics qualifications at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Sunday.
“I feel we did a pretty good job. Obviously, there are little things we need to work on, so we’ll go back and practice and work on that, just so we can do our best performance at team finals (on Tuesday), because that’s what matters. We’re really striving for top three (finish).”
The US team currently stands in second place behind ROC after three of five subdivisions.
US high-performance team coordinator Tom Forster said the team "had great performances today and some not-so-great ones, but the errors we made are mental."
"These girls have been training incredibly well, so it’s things we have some time to work on before finals, and we’ll do it," he said.
On the reasons for the USA team’s errors, which included some extra steps and unsteady landings, Forster said, “If you’ve ever been in competition, it’s just nerves of being in competition.”
Forster said that Biles' errors, including taking three large steps on her balance beam dismount, was a "surprise," adding, "I’ve never seen her do that before."
“That was a surprise. She’s been incredibly consistent and I’m sure she feels bad, but I’m super proud of the way she trained. She’s been a great leader for us. Sometimes, just like in other sports, great athletes drop the ball in the end zone or a quarterback throws an interception. It happens. Those steps are mental errors.”
He said the second-place position in qualifying could be "a great awakening" for the US team.