Australia headlines subdivision three at the 43nd World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, where the team hopes to clinch an Olympic berth via a top-eight performance.
World champion Lauren Mitchell
Mixed Group 7: Vault
Mixed Group 7 features Ireland, Turkey and Peru. Turkey's Goksu Uctas is the most accomplished of the group, having won five medals at World Cup competition in 2010.
Mixed Group 6: Uneven Bars
Mixed Group 6 is an all-Asian affair with Kazakhstan, Taipei and Vietnam. Youth Olympian Moldir Azimbay is the lone female gymnast for Kazakhstan, but never seems to show her full potential in competition. Heavily influenced by Chinese coaching, the Vietnamese gymnasts have shown great progress over the past few years, but need more competition experience and stability.
Australia: Balance Beam
Sixth in the final at the 2010 World Gymnastics Championships, Australia would need a major meltdown Friday to finish out of the top 10 this year. But top eight is the goal in Tokyo for the united Ozzies, even though world floor exercise champion Lauren Mitchell is a favorite for several individual medals. The team lost veterans Chloe Sims and Georgia Bonora to injuries, but the 20-year-old Mitchell is without doubt the team's leader these days. She has the highest difficulty score in the world on floor exercise, and is a contender for gold on the balance beam as well. An all-around medal is not out of the question either for Mitchell, who finished fourth by a fraction in 2009.
Mixed Group 11: Floor Exercise
Poland and Indonesia make up Mixed Group 11. The Polish women continue to improve, though they failed to qualify a full team to Tokyo. Marta Pihan-Kulesza was 20th all-around at the 2010 Worlds in Rotterdam, and is a potential beam finalist if she competes to her full ability.
Next Up in Subdivision 4:: Canada, Greece, and Mixed Groups 4 and 10!
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