IZMIR, Turkey, Sept. 21, 2014 — 2014 U.S. all-around co-champions Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, along with Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, are ready to compete at the 2014 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, which begin Sept. 22 in Izmir, Turkey. The U.S. senior group will also compete in the seven-day championships.

USA Gymnastics will carry more than 15 hours of live web coverage of the finals at the World Rhythmic Championships, beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 23 with the hoop and ball finals on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel. In addition to live coverage of the medal rounds, USA Gymnastics will provide archived coverage of Team USA’s routines during the individual qualification rounds.

More than 300 rhythmic gymnasts are expected to compete in Izmir. By the end of the seven days, titles will have been awarded for the individual all-around, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon, as well as for group all-around, 5 clubs and 3 balls/2 ribbons.

For the individual competition, the qualification rounds are Sept. 22-25, and the U.S. gymnasts are in Subdivision B. The top eight in each event advance to the finals, hoop and ball on Sept. 23 and clubs and ribbon on Sept. 25. The top 24 in the all-around preliminary rankings advance to the finals on Sept. 26. The qualification sessions are Sept. 22-23 for hoop and ball, and Sept. 24-25 for clubs and ribbon.

The general group competition is Sept. 27, with the all-around, 5 clubs and 3 balls/2 ribbons. The group all-around champion is determined following the general group competition, which serves as the qualification for 5 clubs and 3 balls/2 ribbons finals. Event finals for 5 clubs and 3 balls/2 ribbons are on Sept. 28.

The U.S. group consists of Kiana Eide of Northbrook, Ill., Alisa Kano of Glencoe, Ill., Natalie McGiffert of Northbrook, Ill., Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., and Kristen Shaldybin of Chicago, Ill., all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center.

For group, this is the first step in qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games. Thirty-two countries are expected to compete in the group competition, and the top 24 groups will qualify automatically to the 2015 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Based on rankings at the 2015 World Championships, the top 10 groups earn a ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games. Groups ranked 11 through 16 will advance to the Rio Olympic Test Event, where they will vie for the last four group berths to Rio.

The complete live coverage schedule for this year’s Worlds is below and all times are Eastern. As the U.S. rights holder, USA Gymnastics’ coverage will only be available to viewers in the USA.

Tuesday, Sept. 23
1 p.m. – Individual event finals (hoop and ball)

Thursday, Sept. 25
1 p.m. – Individual event finals (clubs and ribbon)

Friday, Sept. 26
9:30 a.m. – Individual all-around final (Group B, Rank 13-24)
1 p.m. – Individual all-around final (Group A, Rank 1-12)

Saturday, Sept. 27
8 a.m. – Groups General Competition (Part 1)
10:45 a.m. – Groups General Competition (Part 2)

Sunday, Sept. 28
8 a.m. – Group event finals (5 clubs and 3 balls/2 ribbons)

Fans can also find live scoring, start lists and results at fig-gymnastics.com, as well as extensive U.S. coverage at usagym.org and on the USA Gymnastics Facebook page and twitter feed (@usagym). The FIG’s Twitter handle is @officialFIG, and additional videos will be posted to the FIG’s YouTube Channel.

Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots and balances. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.