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Locklear Looks Ahead To More Success
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U.S. gymnast Ashton Locklear told IG that, after helping the U.S. women win team gold at last month’s world championships in Nanning, she has confidence in her team and her own prospects. Pictured: Locklear with her coach Qi Han in Nanning.

U.S. gymnast Ashton Locklear told IG that, after helping the U.S. women win team gold at last month’s world championships in Nanning, she has confidence in her team and her own prospects.

"I feel that the U.S. had a really strong team this year," said Locklear, who placed fourth on uneven bars in Nanning. "We were strong on every event with no real weaknesses. I am increasing my difficulty with new releases that I am working on."

In Nanning, Locklear missed a medal on uneven bars by 0.017 points. She scored 15.266 to finish behind gold medalist Yao Jinnan of China (15.633), silver medalist Huang Huidan of China (15.566) and bronze medalist Daria Spiridonova of Russia (15.283).

"A stuck landing may have helped me make the podium," said Locklear, who took a small step forward on her full-twisting double tuck dismount in the final.

Born Jan. 13, 1998, in Lumberton, N.C., Locklear trains at Everest Gymnastics, where her coaches are Chinese natives Qi Han and Yiwen Chen. A serious back injury prevented her from training for much of 2013 and limited her to conditioning only.

However, Locklear rebounded to success in 2014 in her first year as a senior. This past summer she placed first on uneven bars and eighth on balance beam at the P&G (U.S.) championships in Pittsburgh, and first on uneven bars at the Pan American championships in Mississauga, Canada.

Locklear said attention to detail will continue to be the focus of her training for 2015 meets.

"Both of my coaches train me on all apparatuses, with Han's emphasis on bars and Chen's emphasis on beam," Locklear said. "As always, our focus at Everest is quality during training."

Locklear said she is preparing for competitions ahead, whether or not her role will be that of an apparatus specialist.

"My plans for competing in the all-around in the future are still uncertain," she told IG.

Read about the 2014 world championships in the November 2014 issue of International Gymnast magazine, which is a special issue dedicated to the championships. To order back issues, or subscribe to the digital and/or print versions of Interntional Gymnast magazine, click here.

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