Simone Biles won the event with a combined score of 62.198 during the competition on Thursday. Her U.S. teammate Aly Raisman won the silver medal, and Aliya Mustafina of Russia took the bronze.
That this was expected makes it no less remarkable.
Simone Biles accomplished what has been long predicted, winning the Olympic all-around competition here at Rio Olympic Arena on Thursday.
Her win gave the American’s the Olympic all-around title for the fourth consecutive time, extending a streak that began in 2004.
It was the first major international meet where she trailed at any point, but it hardly mattered as she scored 62.198 to win by 2.1 points.
Teammate Aly Raisman, who took silver, knew Biles would take the title by a comfortable margin. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina claimed bronze.
“Just to be able to have that with her and to experience it, it’s really going to be special,” Raisman said after qualifying on Sunday. “I go into it knowing that I hope that she wins just because she wins every single competition.”
That’s no exaggeration. Biles’ Olympic all-around gold is the latest in a long line that have made her the greatest gymnast in her sport’s history.
Biles helped the Final Five to team gold here on Tuesday. It was one of three team golds that she’s been part of since the London Olympics.
Biles herself as won the past three all-around competitions at the world championships. During that run, she won a record 10 gold medals and 14 overall.
Biles, 19, has won every all-around competition she has entered since August 2013, a streak that includes four consecutive U.S. titles.
As she has throughout that run, Biles stayed far ahead of the field by performing the most difficult gymnastics with some of the best execution. Her margin of victory was nearly double the largest she’s had in winning the major international all-around competition each year.
Biles trailed Mustafina by 0.034 after the second rotation, during which both were on uneven bars. That’s Mustafina’s best event and Biles’ worst.
She pulled away from there, taking first place by more than 1.8 points after balance beam. On floor, she was spectacular, putting together her usual soaring, technically difficult routine to earn the highest score of the day.
Raisman, meanwhile, was fourth after two rotations, but moved into third on beam and took silver thanks to a floor routine that was second only to Biles’.
The Americans finished first and second for the first time since 2008 when Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson claimed gold and silver, respectively. It was Raisman’s first Olympic all-around medal after she lost a tiebreaker for third in London four years ago.
As Raisman came off floor, she sobbed and waved to the crowd. When Biles came off, the teammates embraced each other, the persistently bubbly Biles crying in Raisman’s arms.
The Americans are and have been the best in the world for quite some time. They were expected to go home with these medals, but those expectations couldn’t make this feel any less sweet.