TOKYO - Simone Biles made her long-awaited return to the Olympic Games on Tuesday, taking bronze in the beam final won by Chinese teenager Guan Chenchen at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
It was the US superstar's first taste of competition in Tokyo since dramatically standing down during the women's team final last week, struggling with the "twisties", a condition meaning gymnasts lose the ability to orientate themselves in mid-air.
It was Biles' seventh Olympic medal, equalling Shannon Miller's record for an American gymnast.
The four-time gold medallist from the Rio Games received a huge cheer from her US teammates when she entered the arena.
And again when the stadium announcer said: "And now, representing the United States....Simone Biles.."
She looked pensive on her comeback as she waited for her turn to climb up onto the 10cm wide beam for her 90-second routine.
Without performing any twists, she put in a solid performance, ending with a double backward somersault, double pike dismount.
Her face breaking into a broad grin, she waved after earning 14.000 points.
She was lying second behind Tang Xijing until 16-year-old Guan, the last of the eight finalists to go, put in a superb display to take gold with 14.633 points, relegating Biles to bronze.
Olympic chief Thomas Bach was one of the first to congratulate her on her comeback, after her Tokyo nightmare ended in smiles on the third rung of the beam podium.