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Worlds Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 3
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Competition continues Friday morning at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. The Olympic champion Chinese men take the floor in pursuit of their seventh consecutive world title.


Lin Chaopan (China)

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.

The Netherlands: Floor Exercise

World and Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderlandheadlines the Dutch men's squad, 19th at the 2011 Worlds. Veteran Jeffrey Wammes returns to the lineup, but former still rings world champion Yuri van Gelder did not make the lineup. The team finished sixth at this year's European championships in Sofia, marking Netherlands first appearance in a major team final. In addition to high bar, Zonderland has a shot at making the finals on parallel bars with his unique pirouetting skills.

Puerto Rico: Pommel Horse

Puerto Rico finished 14th at the 2011 Worlds after a best-ever 12th place at the 2010 Worlds. The squad finished fourth at the recent Pan American Championships in Canada, where Luis Rivera finished sixth all-around. Alexander Rodriguez took the bronze medal on pommel horse, which along with rings is Puerto Rico's strongest event.

Croatia: Still Rings

Croatia, 31st at the 2010 Worlds, begins on rings and thus finishes on its strongest event, pommel horse. Robert Seligman and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude are both contenders for a shot in the pommel horse final.

North Korea: Parallel Bars

North Korea is fresh off the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, where the team finished fourth after a weak showing on pommel horse. North Korea begins on its best event, however; the country had the highest parallel bars total of any team in Incheon. Kim Jin Hyok has a shot at making the finals on that event.

Ri Se Gwang remains North Korea's biggest star, though he is still on the hunt for his first world championship medal. Ri invented two of the most difficult vaults ever done – a piked Dragulescu and full-twisting Tsukahara double back – but he will need to put both to his feet. He finished in fourth in Incheon, where he limped away after crashing his piked Dragulescu.

China: High Bar

China, the most dominant team in men's gymnastics, will accept nothing less than gold in Nanning. This team lacks any major stars, though Lin Chaopan (parallel bars) and Zhang Chenlong (high bar) are both individual world champions. The Chinese gymnasts may take it easy in qualification to peak for the team final, a strategy that won them gold at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Next Up: Teams from Canada, Chile, Korea, Spain and Uzbekistan in session four!

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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