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Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 1
(2 votes, average 3.50 out of 5)

Competition continues Sunday morning at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. After two days of men's qualification, the women take to the floor at the Guangxi Sport Center with the first of 12 sessions of qualification.

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.


Yekaterina Kramarenko (Russia)

Egypt: Vault

Just like the Egyptian men, the Egyptian women drew the "unlucky" first session of qualification, when scores are often conservative. The team's top gymnast, Fadwa Mahmoud, is injured. Mahmoud is one of the few female gymnasts who attempt the 7.0-Difficulty double front vault (Produnova).

Belgium: Uneven Bars

Belgium finished 16th at the 2011 World Championships, advancing to the Olympic test event and final qualification in London. There the Belgians finished fifth, missing qualifying to the Olympic Games by approximately one point. Floor exercise standout Julie Croket is back after a torn ACL, while two-time Olympian Gael Mys anchors the team on three events.

Canada: Balance Beam

Canada finished a record fifth at the 2012 Olympics, but the team is rebuilding its ranks. Canada had a less-than-successful showing this summer, finishing out of the team medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Olympian Ellie Black leads the team in Nanning and has a shot at several finals, including vault and beam.

Russia: Floor Exercise

Russia's lineup features three veterans and three newcomers. Injuries to Olympians Ksenia Afanasyeva, Viktoria Komova, Anastasia Grishina and Maria Paseka means Russia has had to dig deep to field its strongest team. Superstar Aliya Mustafina is back along with 2008 Olympian Yekaterina Kramarenko and 2010/2011 world team member Tatiana Nabiyeva. The team's best event is uneven bars, but is weak on floor exercise. Mustafina, who grabbed the gold on balance beam and bronze medals in the all-around and uneven bars at the 2013 Worlds, should contend for several individual medals. She has also submitted a triple-turn in Y on floor exercise (Memmel with extra turn) that will be named after her if she competes it successfully in Nanning.

First-year seniors Maria Kharenkova (the European champion on balance beam) and Daria Spiridonova are also capable of apparatus finals. Alla Sotnitskaya is the team's only vault specialist and debuted her Cheng Fei vault in podium training.

Next Up: Full teams from Spain and the Netherlands, along with Vietnamese star Phan Thi Ha Thanh!

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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