NASHVILLE – Annia Hatch chose to withdraw from the 2004 Visa U.S. Gymnastics Championships today due to soreness in her left knee.

Hatch won the vault gold medal and finished ninth in the all-around preliminary on Thursday. However, she chose to withdraw from the all-around finals so as to not risk further injury. Hatch tore the ACL in her left knee on Aug. 16 while training for the 2003 World Championships.

“I was really happy with my performance on Thursday,” Hatch said. “I feel OK today, but I’m a little bit sore from the competition. I feel about 95 percent, and there’s no need to strain the knee any more. I need to stay safe for Trials.

“I proved what I needed to prove, and that is that I’m making progress and will be even stronger in two weeks.”

Hatch will now petition the Women’s International Elite Committee for a berth in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, June 24-27 in Anaheim, Calif.