Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 5 Print
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Written by Amanda Turner   
Friday, 23 October 2015 11:23

Competition continues Friday evening at the 46th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Pictured: 2012 Olympian Viktoria Komova is back in action for Russia.

The women's qualification continues Friday afternoon at the 46th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Russia, third in 2014, takes the floor as the first medalists from the 2014 Worlds to compete in Glasgow.

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.

Mixed Group 10: Vault

Portugal and Puerto Rico compete together in Mixed Group 10. The group begins on vault, where Puerto Rico's Paula Mejias will do two vaults in hopes of reaching the elusive apparatus final. Mejias, who lives and trains in Miami, won vault and floor exercise at the recent World Cup in Osijek.

Italy: Uneven Bars

Fifth in 2014, Italy will rely on experience for another top-eight finish. Former world champion Vanessa Ferrari has her third Olympics in sight, and 2012 Olympians Erika Fasana and Carlotta Ferlito should contribute strong scores on their best events. Elisa Meneghini, the 2014 Italian national champion, is making her worlds debut after missing out the past two years.

Mixed Group 11: Balance Beam

Mixed Group 11 includes three gymnasts from Iceland and two gymnasts from Morocco, the latter a relative newcomer to international women's competition. Former Russian national team member Irina Sazonova, who turned 24 in September, is making her world championships debut for Iceland. Heba Serry, a dual British-Moroccan citizen who lives and trains in London, should have extra audience support.

Russia: Floor Exercise

Russia, the defending bronze medalists from 2014, is missing its top star in Aliya Mustafina, but has a strong team of potential high scorers. Viktoria Komova, who missed the past two world championships, is back and scheduled to compete all but floor exercise. Russia boasts two former world champions in Komova (uneven bars) and Ksenia Afanasyeva (floor exercise), as well as the 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion in Seda Tutkhalyan. Tutkhalyan is still rough around the edges but is a fierce competitor, and throws an eye-catching (if inconsistent) layout full on balance beam. Daria Spiridonova, the bronze medalist on uneven bars from 2014, and Maria Paseka , 2012 Olympic vault medalist, should contribute big scores on their best events. 2014 European balance beam champion Maria Kharenkova is another potential finalist.

Next Up: The first day of competition concludes with full teams from Germany and Poland!

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