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Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 2
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Competition continues Friday morning at the 46th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Pictured: Mai Murakami, originally Japan's alternate, has moved into the lineup after an injury to her teammate.

The women's qualification continues Friday morning at the 46th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

The competition is the first of two qualifications for next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Only the top eight countries will clinch berths to send teams to the Olympics. Teams finishing ninth to 16th will advance to the second Olympic qualification next April in Rio, where four more teams will earn tickets to the Olympics. Also at stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Individual gymnasts competing without teams can earn automatic berths to Rio by winning a medal in Glasgow.

Japan: Vault

Like many teams, Japan has been plagued by injury. Mai Murakami, originally the team alternate, has moved into the lineup after an injury to Yuki Uchiyama while Natsumi Sasada is struggling with a wrist injury. A healthy Sae Miyakawa, however, should shake up the arena with her incredible tumbling passes: full-twisting double layout; front layout to double front; double layout; double-double! Miyakawa is the first female gymnast to dismount floor exercise with a double-double. Japan was eighth in the team final last year in Nanning and no doubt would be thrilled with that same result in Glasgow.

Austria: Uneven Bars

The Austrian women were 22nd at last year's world championships. This year the team has only five gymnasts in the lineup and will struggle with depth. Veterans Lisa Ecker and Elisa Hämmerle will lead the team in the hope of moving up the ranks.

Mixed Group 1: Balance Beam

Mixed Group 1 brings together individuals from Israel, Slovakia, Ecuador and Mongolia – the latter rarely seen in international competition. Slovakia's Barbora Mokošová is the most experienced of the group, regularly competing in World Cup events, and placed a respectable 17th all-around at this year's European championships.

Mixed Group 22: Floor Exercise

Former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia compete together in Mixed Group 22, but disappointingly only have one gymnast each. Angelina Kysla is the sole hope for Ukraine, whose now struggling program contributed so much to women's gymnastics over the years. Nato Dzidziguri is the only entrant from Georgia. Swedish gymnast Julia Rumbutis joined the Georgian team earlier this year, but despite taking part in podium training, has apparently scratched from the competition.

Next Up: Bring on the Canadians and Swedes!

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