The second day of qualification begins Sunday in Subdivision 7, when the defending champion U.S team competes.
The U.S. team boasts world champion Bridget Sloan and world runner-up Rebecca Bross, but both have been suffering from injuries. Sloan is scheduled to do uneven bars and floor exercise only. Bross, the U.S. national champion, has been suffering from pain in her lower right leg but is scheduled to all four events.
Bross is coached by the legendary Valeri Liukin, who certainly knows something about competing through pain. Liukin, who coached daughter Nastia to Olympic gold in 2008, helped his Soviet team win gold at world championships in Rotterdam in 1987. Liukin was suffering from a leg injury himself, and had to be carried off the podium by coach Leonid Arkayev after landing his high bar dismount.
North Korea was supposed to compete in this subdivision, but was banned from worlds for suspected age falsification of gymnast Hong Su Jong.
Rebecca Bross (U.S.) is suffering from pain in her right leg.
The Hungarian women are back with a full team in 2010, after sending only individuals to 2006. Like other former powers in gymnastics, Hungary has lost many of its top coaches and is trying to rebuild its program.
USA: Uneven Bars
Like China, Romania and Russia, the U.S. can afford plenty of mistakes in qualification and still make it to team finals. But the U.S. team always wants to hit, especially under the watchful eye of team coordinator Marta Karolyi, and coming after Russia, which rocked Subdivision 7. The U.S. will want a strong start on uneven bars, its weakest event, especially after the outstanding performance from the Chinese gymnasts on bars in their first rotation.
The U.S. will want to qualify the maximum number of gymnasts to finals, and has a good chance of sending Bross to all but vault and Sacramone to vault and beam finals. The outstanding Mattie Larson, competing in her first worlds, has a shot at the gold medal on floor exercise and will want to perform well there in the third rotation.
Sacramone is the only gymnast doing two vaults, and should easily qualify to the final.
South Africa: Balance Beam
The South African team features the powerful Jennifer Khwela, fresh off her silver medal on vault at the Commonwealth Games. Khwela won South Africa's first World Cup title, winning vault this year in Doha. She will need to increase her difficulty to qualify for the final, but she is looking for a strong finish regardless.
Teammate Ashleigh Heldsinger is fantastic on floor exercise, where she really sells her choreography done by American Dona Jones. Don't miss this routine!
Next Up in Subdivision 8:: Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic and Austria.
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