TOKYO: American teenager Sunisa Lee won the women’s gymnastics all-around Olympic gold on Thursday, succeeding defending champion Simone Biles who withdrew over concerns for her mental health. Lee, 18, won ahead of Rebeca Andrade, the first Brazilian woman to win an artistic gymnastics medal, with Russian women’s team gold medallist Angelina Melnikova in the bronze medal position. Her trek to the top of the podium in Tokyo has not been without enormous personal trauma — in 2019 her father was paralysed from the chest down after a fall from a ladder and last year her aunt and uncle perished from Covid-19. She said: “The past two years with Covid have been crazy. There was one point I wanted to quit. To be here and to be an Olympic gold medallist is just crazy.” The Olympic debutante was adding gold to the silver she won as part of the US women’s team on Tuesday with a points tally of 57.433, 0.144 clear of Andrade, with Melnikova 0.099 away in third. The crown was dramatically left undefended when Biles dropped out of the in-running team competition on Tuesday and subsequently the all-around. In the normal course of events Biles would have been hot favourite to become the first back-to-back winner in over half a century. But fate in the form of an attack of the “twisties” left Biles as a mere bystander, with the spotlight normally trained on her instead illuminating the face of her smiling compatriot.