The women began their competition today at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum for qualification to the semi-finals round of the 1996 Individual World Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Top athletes from competing countries included; Lavinia Milosovici of Romania, floor exercise champion in the 1992 Olympics, Simona Amanar, also from Romania, who will be defending her title as vaulting world champion from the 1995 World Championships in Sabae, Japan, and Russian native, Svetlana Chorkina, who will be defending her current title as the uneven bars World Champion.

Jaycie Phelps from Greenfield, Indiana, began competition for the U.S. women and set the standards for the evening. She placed 13th, scoring a 9.712 on uneven bars. Phelps finished 6th on beam with a 9.775. Of the two events she competed, Phelps qualified for semi-finals on both. “I was really happy with my performance. I came here and did what I had to do,” said Phelps.

Amy Chow from San Jose, Calif., competed a Yurchenko double full on vault, securing herself a spot for the semi-finals with her 7th place finish.

Kristy Powell of Colorado Springs, Colo., competed on floor exercise and vault. Despite a slight slip of her foot on her second pass landing, Powell managed to place 4th, moving her into semi-finals. “I was pleased with my routine. I had fun out there. I had some form deductions on my full-in so I’m going to pike it tomorrow,” said Powell. Powell fell on her second vault landing, and since the scores are combined, she only received a 9.381, placing her 20th.

Dominique Dawes from Silver Spring, Md., competed on uneven bars,placing 14th, balance beam, placing 8th, and floor exercise. She qualified to semi-finals on all events but floor. She ran out of bounds on her second pass, resulting in some deductions. Dawes finished 22nd. “I think I was scored fairly on all of the events. I just pray that I make semi-finals to show how my routines are really supposed to be done,” stated Dawes.

Muriel Grossfeld, the U.S. Delegation Head and judge, has much faith in the U.S. women. When asked why the Romanians have such a good team, she answered, “They are very good and they have a great coach. They all train together and have a very rich program. They are also very dedicated to the sport, however, our girls have a chance to beat them. It’s not over yet.”

Results of the semi-finalists:

1 Rocaliya Galiyeva/RUS/9.687
2 Annia Portuondo/CUB/9.668
2 Gina Gogean/ROM/9.668
2 Svetlana Chorkina/RUS/9.668
5 Simona Amanar/ROM/9.637
6 Leyva Bermudes/CUB/9.625
7 Amy Chow/USA/9.612
8 Vasiliki Tsavdaridou/GRE/9.581
9 Elisabeth Valle/ESP/9.556
10 Shanyn Maceachern/CAN/9.499
11 Adrienn Varga/HUN/9.487
12 Joana Juarez/ESP/9.462
13 Anna Mirgorodskaia/UKR/9.456
14 Kathleen Stark/GER/9.443
14 Svetlana Zelepoukina/UKR/9.443
16 Adrienn Nyeste/HUN/9.437

Uneven Bars
1 Xuan Liu/CHN/9.825
1 Svetlana Chorkina/RUS/9.825
3 Lioubov Shermeta/UKR/9.775
4 Dina Kochetkova/RUS/9.762
5 Kathleen Stark/GER/9.750
5 Yelena Piskun/BLR/9.750
5 Isabelle Severino/FRA/9.750
5 Lavinia Milosovici/ROM/9.750
5 Anna Mirgorodskaia/UKR/9.750
10 Mercedes Pacheco/ESP/9.737
11 Elvire Teza/FRA/9.725
11 Vasiliki Tsavdaridou/GRE/9.725
13 Jaycie Phelps/USA/9.712
14 Dominique Dawes/USA/9.700
14 Simona Amanar/ROM/9.700
16 Alena Polozkova/BLR/9.662

Balance Beam
1 Dina Kochetkova/RUS/9.875
2 Xuan Liu/CHN/9.862
3 Gina Gogean/ROM/9.800
3 Alexandra Marinescu/ROM/9.800
3 Yelena Piskun/BLR/9.800
6 Jaycie Phelps/USA/9.775
6 Vasiliki Tsavdaridou/GRE/9.775
8 Dominique Dawes/USA/9.762
8 Rocaliya Galiyeva/RUS/9.762
10 Yuanyuan Kui/CHN/9.737
10 Mercedes Pacheco/ESP/9.737
12 Soraya Carvalho/BRA/9.662
13 Alena Polozkova/BLR/9.550
14 Leyanet Gonzalez/CUB/9.537
15 Ruth Moniz/AUS/9.500
16 Elisabeth Valle/ESP/9.487

Floor Exercise
1 Gina Gogean/ROM/9.837
2 Lavinia Milosovici/ROM/9.787
3 Lioubov Sheremeta/UKR/9.750
4 Yuanyuan Kui/CHN/9.737
4 Kristy Powell/USA/9.737
6 Dina Kochetkova/RUS/9.725
6 Rocaliya Galiyeva/RUS/9.725
8 Joana Juarez/ESP/9.712
9 Vasiliki Tsavdaridou/GRE/9.700
10 Gemma Paz/ESP/9.650
11 Ludivine Furnon/FRA/9.587
12 Annia Portuondo/CUB/9.550
13 Olga Kozevnikova/KAZ/9.537
14 Annia Portuondo/CUB/9.550
15 Yvonne Pioch/GER/9.412
15 Anna Mirgorodskaia/UKR/9.412
15 Kyriaki Firinidou/GRE/9.412

Thursday’s competition will begin at 12:30 P.M., including both the men and women competitors. The top eight places on each event will advance to the finals competition, beginning on Friday, April 20, at 7:00 P.M.