China’s Ou on world beam gold prospects: ‘I have to focus on myself and overcome my nerves’

Written by John Crumlish for International Gymnast Online

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Ou Yushan (CHN)

Entering Sunday’s apparatus finals at the World Championships in Liverpool as the top qualifier on balance beam, Chinese gymnast Ou Yushan said a combination of concentration and calmness could yield her gold.

“Of course, I am confident because I have high difficulty on my beam routine and I believe in myself,” said Ou, whose score of 13.900 ranked her first in qualifications, ahead of U.S. gymnast Skye Blakely (13.733) and Japan’s Miyata Shoko (13.700). “But all I have to do is to focus on myself and overcome my nerves.”

Ou assessed her seventh-place performance in Thursday’s all-around final as “not perfect,” although she earned the field’s top score on balance beam in last weekend’s qualifications.

“I made some mistakes on uneven bars and beam, and also had some wobbles which were caused by nerves,” said Ou, a native of Guanxi. “I was relieved a bit after beam, so then I did a pretty good job on floor.”

The 18-year-old Ou was a member of China’s seventh-place team at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she finished 11th on balance beam and 35th on uneven bars in qualifications. She was third all-around, second on floor exercise, fifth on uneven bars and eighth on balance beam at the 2019 Junior World Championships in Gyor.

Ou said she has plenty of room for all-around improvement following Liverpool.

“To be honest, my level is not up there yet,” she said. “The gap between myself and the world’s top gymnasts is quite large. When I get home, I will definitely work harder to improve in many ways. In later competitions, I will try to perform harder skills and improve bit by bit.”

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