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Worlds Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 1
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Competition opens Friday morning at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China, with the first of 10 men's qualification sessions. Pictured: The main arena at the Guangxi Sports Center in Nanning.

Competition opens Friday morning at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. Hundreds of gymnasts will soon get the green light from the judges in China's "Green City." Let's take a look at the first session that begins at 9 a.m. local time.

Bulgaria: Floor Exercise

Bulgaria begins on floor exercise, but lacks any gymnasts with finals potential. Six-time Olympian Jordan Jovtchev retired in 2012, and 2010 floor finalist Eddie Penev switched now represents the United States. Bulgaria has another Bulgarian-American in Yordan Aleksandrov. Like many teams in Nanning, Bulgaria will be hoping for a top-24 finish to advance to the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow. The team finished 29th at the 2010 World Championships, missing a chance to advance a full team to the 2011 Worlds.

Hong Kong: Pommel Horse

Hong Kong is fielding a full team in Nanning, which is just a short flight away. The team has a potential vault medalist in Shek Wai Hung, who became a hero for his homeland after a hard-earned gold medal at the recent Asian Games in Incheon. Shek upset world and Olympic champion Yang Hak Seon (Korea) with two excellent vaults in the final. The men's vault field is incredibly deep in Nanning, so gymnasts will need to nail both attempts in qualification for a chance at the final.

Hong Kong's Ng Kiu Chung has submitted two new skills on still rings for evaluation in Nanning: From or through hanging scale rearways, with straight arms pull to V Cross (held for two seconds); and a slow roll forward stretched with straight arms through cross and press to planche without first going to support (held for two seconds).

Egypt: Still Rings

Egyptian gymnastics was unlucky in the random draw, pulling the first subdivisions for both men's and women's teams. The Egyptian men were 39th at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam.

Belgium: Vault

Hosts of last year's world championships, the Belgian men have their top hope in 2012 Olympian Jimmy Verbaeys. Verbaeys was an all-around finalist at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 Europeans, but missed out on the final in Antwerp.

Israel: Parallel Bars

Two-time Olympic floor exercise finalist Alexander Shatilov remains Israel's bright spot in gymnastics. Shatilov made history for Israel with bronze medals on floor exercise at the 2009 and 2011 Worlds. Shatilov was Israel's Athlete of the Year in 2013 after tying for the gold on floor at the European championships in Moscow. Shatilov, 27, took another bronze medal on floor at this year's Europeans in Sofia.

Mixed Group 5: High Bar

Mixed group No. 5 has gymnasts from Algeria, Czech Republic and Luxembourg. 2008 Olympian Sascha Palgen is still going strong for Luxembourg at age 30. Palgen, an alternate for the 2012 Olympics in London, miraculously recovered without serious injury after breaking his neck during training in 2005.

Next Up: Full teams from Belarus, Singapore, Ukraine, and 2016 Olympic hosts Brazil!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

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