Simone Biles had been nearly flawless through the team and individual all-around events - as well as the vault final Sunday, where she earned her third gold medal of the Olympic Games - but a stumble on her beam routine Monday ended her quest for what would have been an incredible five golds.
Biles qualified for the beam event final with the highest qualifying score, just ahead of American teammate Laurie Hernandez, but after starting her routine by nailing a wolf turn and barani, Biles lost her balance while performing a punch front. Biles put her hands on the beam to keep from falling off entirely after her right foot slipped off, which judges consider to be a fall.
Biles recovered and hit the rest of her skills, and though her final score of 14.733 put her in first at the time, it was nine-tenths of a point less than her score in qualification.
The next athlete to take the beam, The Netherlands' Sanne Wevers, knocked Biles out of the top spot with a 15.466.
Laurie Hernandez went next and hit a clean routine, but her lower degree of difficulty than Wevers (6.6 to 6.4) left her in second place with a 15.333. The U.S. team later requested an inquiry on Hernandez's score, but it was rejected by judges.
After a long delay - the French team also filed an inquiry which was rejected - Brazil's Flavia Saraiva placed in fifth, ending Biles' anxious wait.