Four-times Olympic artistic gymnastics gold medallist Simone Biles will be hoping for more podium-topping in Tokyo ©Getty Images

Simone Biles of the United States promises to be one of the stars of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where she will be seeking to add to the four artistic gymnastics gold medals she won at Rio 2016 when competition starts at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre here on Sunday (July 25).

The 24-year-old from Columbus, Ohio still has another five golds to go if she is to equal the record of nine set by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina from 1956 to 1964.

But her World Championship performances since Rio - four wins in 2018 and gold in every event except uneven bars in 2019 - have underlined her dominance.

Biles’ main rivals for gold in the individual all-around final include 2019 world silver medallist Tang Xijing of China, 2019 world bronze medallist Angelina Melnikova of the Russian Olympic Committee, 2018 world silver medallist Mai Murakami of Japan and 2017 world silver medallist Elsabeth Black of Canada.

The American is favoured to retain gold in vault and floor exercise.

On balance beam, where she won bronze in Rio and gold at the 2019 World Championships, she will take on defending champion Sanne Wevers of The Netherlands.

Japan's all-around champion from Rio 2016, Kohei Uchimura, will compete only on the horizontal bar at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
Japan's all-around champion from Rio 2016, Kohei Uchimura, will compete only on the horizontal bar at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

A new Olympic champion will be crowned on uneven bars in the absence of retired two-time gold medallist Aliya Mustafina of Russia, with Belgium’s 2018 and 2019 world champion Nina Derwael the woman most likely for this crown.

Biles is also expected to help United States win a third consecutive women’s team title although there will be strong competition from the Russian Olympic Committee team, 2019 world bronze medallists Italy and China.

Meanwhile in men’s competition Japan’s all-around individual champion Kohei Uchimura will take part only on the horizontal bar and will not be part of the host team’s effort to defend the title won in Rio.

The contenders to take over his title include 2019 world all-around champion Nikita Nagornyy and Artur Dalaloyan of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), China’s 2017 all-around world champion Xiao Ruoteng and Sun Wei, and his own compatriot Kazuma Kaya.

Favourites in the apparatus finals include 2019 world floor exercise champion Carlos Yulo of the Philippines, Rio 2016 and world 2019 pommel horse gold medallist Max Whitlock of Britain and Rio 2016 rings champion Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece.

The 2019 world rings champion Ibrahim Colak of Turkey, 2019 world vault champion Nagornyy and Britain’s 2019 world parallel bars champion Joe Fraser will all be in contention.

The hosts have a young team to contest the title with likely challengers China and the ROC.