NOTE: NBC will broadcast the women’s all-around competition LIVE at 11:15 p.m. ET on AUG. 14
BEIJING, Aug. 13, 2008 – Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, are looking to add individual medals to their 2008 Olympic team silver medal when they compete in the women’s all-around finals tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. local Beijing time at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China. Only three U.S. women have medaled in the Olympic all-around: Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004), gold; and Shannon Miller (1992), silver.
Johnson and Liukin went 1-2 in the qualification round with scores of 62.725 and 62.375, respectively. China’s Yang Yilin was third with a 62.350. The top 24 gymnasts in the qualification round, with a limit of two per country, advanced to the all-around finals. Scores from the qualification round do not carry forward.
With her victory in the all-around at the 2007 World Championships, Johnson joined Kim Zmeskal (1991), Shannon Miller (1993-94) and Chellsie Memmel (2005) as the only U.S. women to win a world all-around title. She is the 2007-08 U.S. all-around champion and she won the 2007 Tyson American Cup. She also won the all-around at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
In 2008, Liukin won the all-around titles at both the Tyson American Cup and the Pacific Rim Championships presented by Gillette Venus. She is the 2005 all-around world-silver medalist and won four straight U.S. all-around titles (junior in 2003-04 and senior in 2005-06). She finished fifth in the all-around at the 2007 World Championships.
Some of the other top all-around gymnasts competing in the finals are: Brazil’s Jade Barbosa, the 2007 world bronze-medalist; Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari, the 2006 world champion and 2007 world bronze-medalist; Romania’s Steliana Nistor, the 2007 world silver-medalist, and Sandra Izbasa, the 2006 world bronze-medalist.