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Gymnast Shilese Jones withdraws from U.S. women’s Olympic qualifying competitions due to leg injury

Shilese Jones will compete on the uneven bars at the Olympic gymnastics qualifiers in the USA on Friday.Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS – Gymnast Shilese Jones has withdrawn from the U.S. Olympic trials a day after injuring her left knee during vault training.

USA Gymnastics said Jones was withdrawn from the competition following an investigation on Saturday.

The 21-year-old was one of the most promising candidates to join Simone Biles in the five-person women’s team that travels to Paris as the clear favorite for the gold medal.

An unfortunate landing on the jump changed everything.

Jones was warming up for Friday night’s competition when her left leg buckled awkwardly as her feet touched the mat. She was carried off the podium but later returned for the uneven bars, her best event.

The Seattle-area native achieved the highest score of the evening with 14.675 points, but left the podium cautiously and did not participate in the balance beam or floor exercise.

Jones is one of three women whose hopes of competing in the Olympics were dashed by injuries this week. Skye Blakely, who finished a strong second to Biles at the U.S. championships last month, tore the Achilles tendon in her right leg during training on Wednesday.

Kayla DiCello, an alternate at the 2020 Olympics, tore her left Achilles tendon during a vault on Friday. “While this is not the result I envisioned, there is so much to be proud of,” DiCello wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday, adding, “This is not the end of my story.”

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