WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: CHINA'S WOMEN TAKE LEAD U.S. FALLS TO THIRD; RUSSIA DISAPPOINTS WITH 5TH IN PRELIMS.Byline: Ramona Shelburne Ramona Shelburne is an American sports journalist currently writing for the Los Angeles Daily News.
Shelburne was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California where she was a class valedictorian. Staff Writer
ANAHEIM - Who says you need international experience to handle the pressure of the World Gymnastics Championships The World Gymnastics Championships are held every year. Artistic
World Artistic Gymnastics Championships have been held since 1903.
Year Games Host City Country
1903 I Antwerp Belgium
1905 II Bordeaux ?
Despite having only one gymnast with world-championship experience, China scored a 147.697, the highest score in the two days of women's team qualification, and moved ahead of defending Olympic and world champion Romania (148.120) and Sunday night's leader, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. (147.697), in front of 4,645 at the Pond.
``The younger girls with less experience actually had less pressure because they just go through it,'' Chinese coach Shanzhen Lu said. ``... The team handled the pressure very well today.''
The top eight teams from qualifying advance to Wednesday night's team final, and the top 12 earn berths at the 2004 Olympics. Also at stake were berths in Friday's all-around competition and the individual event finals Saturday and Sunday.
Among the disappointments Monday was pre-event favorite Russia, which was shaky on the uneven bars Noun 1. uneven bars - a pair of parallel bars set at different heights; used in women's gymnastics
uneven parallel bars
bars, parallel bars - gymnastic apparatus consisting of two parallel wooden rods supported on uprights and finished fifth at 145.572, more than two points behind the third-place Americans. Ukraine was fourth at 146.994.
``The first gymnast who started us off seemed very confident, but when she fell, it had a bad influence on the team, like a chain reaction,'' Russian coach Leonid Arkayev said.
The Russians scored well on their first event, the vault, but had only one gymnast score above 9.0 on their next event, the uneven bars. That gymnast was Svetlana Khorkina Svetlana Vasilievna Khorkina (Russian: Светлана Васильевна Хоркина (9.450), the reigning queen of Russian gymnastics who won five consecutive world titles on the uneven bars until last year. However, she will not get a chance to add to that total after being edged out of the event final by Ukrainian Irina Krasnynska.
Khorkina, the two-time all-around world champion, is among the favorites in the all-around competition and qualified with a 37.249. Elena Gomez of Spain (37.549) had the highest all-around score in the preliminaries, followed by Chellsie Memmel Chellsie Marie Memmel (born June 23, 1988 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is a U.S. gymnast. She started gymnastics as a young child because her parents were both gymnastics coaches and she grew up playing in the gym. She began competing as an elite in 2000. of the United States (37.449), Khorkina, Irina Yarotska
Irina Yarotska at the 2002 World Championships in Debrecen, Hungary
Irina Yarotska is a Ukrainian female artistic gymnast. of Ukraine (37.062) and Ye Fan of China (36.823).
Though she is not expected to win the all-around, one of the best performances Monday came from 28-year-old Oksana Chusovitina Oksana Aleksandrovna Chusovitina (Russian:Оксана Александровна Чусовитина; born June 19, 1975 in Bukhara, of Uzbekistan, the oldest female competitor who qualified for the all-around final Friday night with a 36.136.
--U.S. men's preview: Something special seems to happen each time a major international gymnastics championship has been held on U.S. soil.
In 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics Los Angeles Olympics may refer to:
• • , Mary Lou Retton Mary Lou Retton (born January 24, 1968 in Fairmont, West Virginia) is an American gymnast of Italian heritage. She was the first female gymnast outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title. won the all-around title and the U.S men's team won the team gold. In 1991 at the world championships in Indianapolis, Kim Zmeskal Kimberly Lynn Zmeskal Burdette (born February 6, 1976 in Houston, Texas) is an American retired gymnast and coach.
As a young girl, Zmeskal was one of the first to sign up for gymnastics classes under the tutelage of coaching great Béla Károlyi who had recently bought a became America's first world all-around champion, and in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, the U.S. women took home the team gold.
So what's in store for this year in Anaheim?
The first team gold medal at the world championships for the U.S. men's team? How about an all-around men's world champion?
Both are possible at tonight's men's team finals and Thursday's men's all-around finals.
Despite early setbacks on floor exercise and pommel horse in Sunday's qualifying rounds, the U.S. men had the highest team score and two of its all-arounders - Paul Hamm and Jason Gatson - finished in the top five in qualifying.
But with the new ``three up, three count'' format of the team finals, one mistake and all of those hopes could be dashed. Here's the U.S. men's lineup for tonight's team finals:
Floor: Jason Gatson, Paul Hamm, Morgan Hamm.
Pommel horse: Morgan Hamm, Brett McClure, Paul Hamm.
Still rings: Raj Bhavsar, Gatson, Blaine Wilson.
Vault: McClure, Paul Hamm, Morgan Hamm.
Parallel bars: Paul Hamm, Wilson, Gatson.
High bar: McClure, Wilson, Paul Hamm.
The eight teams in tonight's final (in order of qualifying) are: United States, Japan, China, Romania, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine and France.
Ramona Shelburne, (818) 713-3617
Kang Xin of China performs on the balance beam during the World Gymnastics Championships qualifying round. China's team score put it in first place, ahead of Romania and the United States.
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press