Rio 2016: Biles talks up US confidence after sublime Olympic debut


Simone Biles was near perfection during the gymnastics qualifying rounds in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday and urged her American team-mates to carry their confidence forward in the competition.

The 4ft8 Olympic rookie had the top scores of any competitor in the vault (16.000), floor excercise (15.733) and balance beam (15.633) and easily led the all-around competition at 62.366 after the United States competed in the fourth of five qualifying sessions.

The 19-year-old is the three-time defending world champion in the all-around and could win up to five gold medals in Rio, but admits she was not without nerves heading into the competition.

"I think qualifications is the most nerve-racking event of the Olympics because you're trying to qualify for any event final that you want," she said. "It's super nerve-racking, but since we got it out of the way, we're ready for the team final.

"We try not to let the pressure get to us. We always calm each other down on the side by saying, 'It's only one more routine. You've got it. it's just like practice'.

"I don't think we necessarily need to improve [in the final], I think our confidence needs to stay where it is. We just need to go out there and have fun.

"I don't think you can ever have enough confidence, because whenever that day comes you never know what is going to happen.

"We just have to stay confident and do our routines like we normally do. You can never play it safe."