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Four up, four count for U.S. on vault

August 10, 2008 | 12:45 am

BEIJING -- In this team qualifying format, gymnastics teams are allowed to have five of their six women compete on each apparatus with only the top four scores counting.

The U.S. knew it was going into the competition a little shorthanded when Chellsie Memmel sprained her right ankle at training last weekend. It had already been predetermined that Memmel would only do an uneven bars routine, the weakest event for the U.S.

But Samantha Peszek's ankle sprain on a floor exercise pass in warm-ups left the U.S. to put up only four gymnasts on floor exercise and vault. Shawn Johnson came through with a 16.000 vault score and, as a group, the U.S. outpointed China head to head on the vault 62.225 to 61.825.

Peszek has warmed up on uneven bars and appears ready to lead off for the U.S.

-- Diane Pucin