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Russia finished; U.S. still leads at world gymnastics championships

Jordan-wiber_600

With two qualifying subdivisions left at the 2011 world gymnastics championships, the U.S. holds a slim lead over Russia. The U.S. has 234.253 points while Russia has 231.062. Defending Olympic champion China is third.

Among the teams left to finish the team qualifying with a chance to move ahead of the top three is Japan.

The top eight after team finals on Tuesday automatically qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. The other four spots for the 12-team final will be decided next year at a test event in London.

β€œI am very proud of this very young team and how they pulled it together after Alicia Sacramone's injury,” said Martha Karolyi, U.S. women's national team coordinator, from Tokyo.  β€œThey were very brave and fought for the United States and for Alicia.”

Sacramone ruptured an Achilles' tendon during training in Japan and flew home to Massachusetts for surgery. Sacramone, the defending world vault champion, was the sole member of the 2008 U.S. silver-medal team in Tokyo.

Russia's Victoria Komova leads the all-around qualifying with 60.157 points. Defending U.S. all-around champion Jordyn Wieber has 60.032 points while American Aly Raismann is fourth with 58.432 points.

Also, 15-year-old McKayla Maroney of Laguna Hills is the leader on the vault with a score of 15.083, ahead of 36-year-old Oksana Chusovitina of Germany, who has a qualifying score of 14.833. Chusovitina was the vault silver medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The controversial Chinese gymnast He Kexin, whose age eligibility was questioned during the Beijing Olympics after evidence was found showing conflicting birth dates, failed to qualify for the uneven bars event finals. She had won gold on uneven bars in Beijing, edging out Nastia Liukin of the U.S.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: American Jordyn Wieber performs the floor exercise during qualifying at the world gymnastics championships on Saturday in Tokyo. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press

 
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