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Worlds Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 5
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Day one of competition draws to a close Friday with the fifth subdivision of men's qualification at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China.

The Olympic champion Chinese team currently leads the qualification after an outstanding performance in the third session. Deng Shudi and Cheng Ran are currently 1-2 in the individual all-around qualification.


Max Whitlock (Great Britain)

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.

Portugal: Floor Exercise

Portugal was 20th at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo and 18th at this year's European championships. The team's top gymnast is Gustavo Simões, whose best event is pommel horse.

Great Britain: Pommel Horse

Great Britain starts off on what has become its flagship event: pommel horse. Even without Louis Smith, the team has two potential finalists in European champions Dan Keatings and Max Whitlock. Whitlock, a contender for a medal in the all-around, will compete alongside his 2012 Olympic bronze medal teammates, Dan Purvis and Kristian Thomas.

Olympian Sam Oldham is out after an injury, but newcomers Frank Baines (who won five gold medals at the Junior Europeans in May) and Courtney Tulloch could help Great Britain win its first team world medal. Rings is the team's only weak event.

Mixed Group 1: Still Rings

Mixed Group 1 includes gymnasts from Ecuador and South Africa. (Saudia Arabia was also in this group but chose not to send any gymnasts.) American Ryan Patterson, who holds dual citizenship and competes for the University of California-Berkeley, will make his world championships debut for South Africa.

Colombia: Vault

Rising star Jossimar Calvo leads the Colombian team, which also includes 2008 Olympian Jorge Hugo Giraldo. Calvo will challenge for a strong showing in the all-around, and he can make finals on parallel bars and high bar. Calvo, a high bar finalist at the 2013 Worlds, is gunning for Colombia's first world championship medal.

Poland: Parallel Bars

Poland, 27th in 2010, failed to make the cut to advance a full team to the 2011 Worlds. The team will count on several veterans, including Roman Kulesza and Adam Kierzkowski. Kulesza's wife, Marta Pihan-Kulesza, competes for the Polish women's team.

Ireland: High Bar

Ireland is fielding possibly its strongest team ever. Olympian Kieran Behan leads the squad strong lineup on floor exercise, which includes English native Andrew Smith and Irish-American Rohan Sebastian. The trio each won gold medals at the recent Northern European championships.

Next Up: Competition continues Saturday with day two of men's qualification!

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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