Simone Biles' bid to launch a history-making gold rush at the Tokyo Olympics fell apart after a single vault on Tuesday when the gymnast superstar pulled out of the team event, and her American teammates were beaten to the title by the Russians.
America's silver team medal means Biles can no longer win six golds here which, added to her haul of four from Rio, would have confirmed her status as the greatest gymnast of all time.
"After the performance I did I just didn’t want to go on," Biles said.
USA Gymnastics said Biles had withdrawn because of a "medical issue," and would be assessed daily.
"Injury, no," she said. "Just a little injury to my pride."
While she could still, in theory, win five and match the current record, it seems unlikely.
Russian great Larisa Latynina won nine gymnastic Olympic golds in the 1950s and '60s. Only Michael Phelps, with his 23 swimming golds, has won more.
If Biles does win five here she would join four athletes on nine -- Latynina, swimmer Mark Spitz and track and field athletes Paavo Nurmi and Carl Lewis.
The Games are taking place under a state of emergency and without spectators, an unprecedented event in the history of the modern Olympics.
Tokyo reported 2,848 infections on Tuesday, in line with warnings from health experts that the summer would bring a rebound in COVID-19 cases due to increased mobility and the spread of variants.
Most Japanese opposed holding the Games amid the pandemic, especially as the healthcare system has been pushed to the brink in parts of the country.
Games organizers have reported a total of 155 cases associated with the Olympics, a tiny percentage given the tens of thousands of people who have come from abroad.
Tokyo's virus cases are counted separately from those reported in the Olympic village. Athletes and other officials who have traveled from abroad are separated from the public.
© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.