© Tom Theobald

IZMIR, Turkey, Sept. 26, 2014 — Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, finished 19th in the all-around finals at the 2014 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Izmir, Turkey. The World Championships continue tomorrow with the first day of the group competition, and fans can watch the USA compete live in the first group session on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel at 8 a.m. ET.

This is the second straight year that Kerber advanced to the all-around finals at the World Championships, and she moved up from her 22nd place in 2013. In this year’s finals, Kerber improved on three of her four qualification round scores to post a 64.582 all-around total. Her highest score at this year’s Worlds came in the hoop competition at 16.733. In addition to hoop, she also bettered her qualification scores in ball (15.933) and ribbon (16.066). Her clubs mark was 15.850. Russia took the top two all-around spots, with Yana Kudryavtseva winning the gold and Margarita Mamun garnering the silver. The Ukraine’s Ganna Rizatdinova was third.

In addition, the USA placed 12th in the team competition, moving up three places from the last team competition in 2011. The team included Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Kerber.

On Saturday, the group competition begins and will be shown live at 8 a.m., which will feature the USA in Group 1, and at 10:45 a.m., Group 2. 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.

USA Gymnastics will carry more than 15 hours total of live web coverage of the finals at the World Rhythmic Championships. In addition to live coverage of the medal rounds, USA Gymnastics has posted archived coverage of Team USA’s routines from the individual qualification rounds.

The remaining 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.

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.