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Simone Biles Cites Osaka Example In Withdrawal

A pair of superstars made stunning exits from the Tokyo Olympic Games.

American gymnast Simon Biles cited Naomi Osaka's example of placing mental health as a priority in pulling out of the team final.

More: Tearful Osaka Talks to Press After Olympics Loss

Biles' surprising departure from the team final came shortly after 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova shocked the second-ranked Osaka 6-1, 6-4.

Biles and Osaka are two of the most prominent faces of the Tokyo Games. Biles, who withdrew from the team event after a miscue on vault, said she's physically fine and pulled out to focus on her well being.

"[I withdrew] to focus on my well-being," Biles told the media in Tokyo when asked why she withdrew. "And you know, there's more to life than just gymnastics.

'It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better but again, we'll take it one day at a time and we're going to see how the rest goes...

"I feel like I’m also not having as much fun
and this Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself and it felt like I was still doing for other people—and that hurts my heart that doing what I love has been taken away from me."

USA gymnastics issued a statement saying Biles has "withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue."

In an interview with the Today Show host Hoda Kotb, Biles said she's physically fine and aims to compete in the all-around competition.

The gymnastics standout said she opted out of the team final for the sake of her mental health echoing comments Osaka made when she withdrew from Roland Garros after revealing she has battled bouts of depression and anxiety.

"I have to focus on my mental health," Biles told the Today's Show. "I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now... we have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

"We're not just athletes, we're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back. I didn´t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt.

"I feel like a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped. It's so big, it´s the Olympic Games, at the end of the day we don´t want to be carried out of there on a stretcher. You have to be there 100 per cent or 120 per cent or you're going to hurt yourself."

Photo credit: International Tennis Federation Facebook