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Olsen Eyes Upgrade in Vault Final
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For Canada's Shallon Olsen, qualifying to the vault final at the world championships in Montreal was easier than expressing how she felt performing so well in front of her home country fans.

Shallon Olsen (Canada) on vault during qualification

Olsen, who placed eighth on vault at the 2016 Olympic Games, scored 14.366 on her first vault (double-twisting Yurchenko) and stuck her second vault (Cheng Fei) for 14.933 for an average of 14.649.

"Sticking (the second vault) made me feel really great, and afterwards, all the excitement from the crowd definitely got me pumped up," said Olsen, who also competed floor exercise in qualification, finishing 16th. "Once I landed it, it was just that awesome feeling of representing your country. There's not really a way to describe it."

Olsen, who trains at Omega Gymnastics in Metro Vancouver, qualified fourth to the vault final behind defending world champion Maria Paseka of Russia (14.933), newcomer Jade Carey of the United States (14.633) and Olympic bronze medalist Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland (14.750).

In the final, Olsen aims to close the gap on the three gymnasts who outscored her in qualifications by possibly upgrading her first vault to an Amanar (2-1/2 twisting Yurchenko), which she competed in the Olympic final.

"I'm hoping to, yes," she said of attempting the Amanar in the final.

Olsen will be the second gymnast to compete in the eight-gymnast lineup, following Steingruber, and upgrading will be a gamble. Upgrading to an Amanar would add .4 in Difficulty value to Olsen's first vault, matching the 5.8 D-score of her second vault, and increase her chances of taking a medal. Only two Canadian women have won world championships medals: Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, who took bronze on beam in 2006, and Ellie Black, who won the all-around silver Friday night in Montreal.

The competition continues in Montreal on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. with the first day of apparatus finals, featuring men's floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings, and women's vault and uneven bars. Head to IG's Facebook page for live commentary from the Olympic Stadium!

Read complete coverage of the 2017 World Championships in the November issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe at the special world championships rate, click here.