As expected, gymnast extraordinaire Simone Biles picked up her fourth medal at the Rio Olympics. Unfortunately it was not the colour the American wanted.The glum look on the 19-year-old's face as she stood on the lowest platform of the podium said it all — she had claimed a bronze medal on the balance beam, but lost her chance at creating history.
All the soaring expectations about Biles becoming the first female gymnast to win five golds at a single Olympics came crashing down in a heartbeat, thanks to a split-second wobble on a four-inch-wide block of wood.
That mistake elevated Dutchwoman Sanne Wevers to the most unexpected of victories and left Biles — who already has gold in the women's team, individual all-around and the vault in Rio — to rue her footing.
"I'm disappointed at the routine that I did. I don't really know what happened," Biles said.Her minor slip was a big enough miss to grab all the spotlight on a day that featured three separate finals.
The double world champion on the beam was rock solid as she spun around 900 degrees on her right toes. There was not a wobble in sight as she executed her backflip into two layouts.
With the gold medal in her sights, she soared high into a front somersault but lost her footing and had to grab the beam with both hands to save herself from falling off.
Her misfortune allowed Wevers to become the first female Dutch gymnast to grab gold in an individual final, with a graceful yet low-risk routine featuring numerous spins, including a triple. She scored 15.466.
The Netherlands' only previous top prize for the women had been in the team competition in 1928.
Biles, whose score was only good enough for bronze behind team-mate Laurie Hernandez, will get a chance to win a record-equalling fourth gold on Wednesday morning (AEST) when she competes in the floor exercise final.
The Soviet Union's Larisa Latynina (Melbourne 1956), Hungary's Agnes Keleti (Melbourne 1956) and Czech Vera Caslavska (Mexico City 1968) are the only women to have won four golds at a single Games.