LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Kristin Maloney (Pen Argyl, Pa.) took seventh place in individual balance beam finals as competition concluded at the 1997 World Gymnastics Championships Sunday afternoon in the Malley Sports Center.
Competing in her first World Championships, Maloney was seventh in start order, a position which tended to build the tension, especially when eventual gold-medalist Gina Gogean of Romania posted a 9.80 on the first routine of the afternoon.
“I was a little bit more nervous, but I tried to put it in the back of my head that it was the World Championships and just go out and do the best I can,” Maloney said. “I tried not to think about what everyone else was doing. It was shocking to see Gogean get such a high score right out of the gate, but she did an excellent routine and she deserved it.”
She indicated that the week-long event has been a learning experience, one on which she will build in the future.
“I learned that you have to stay focused,” she said. “You can’t be distracted by things that you can’t control, like the draw or the judges’ scores. You just have to out, keep going and do the best you can.”
Balance Beam Individual Finals
1, Gina Gogean, Romania, 9.800. 2, Svetlana Khorkina, Russia, 9.787. 3, Kui Yuanyuan, China, 9.787. 4, Ludivine Furnon, France, 9.700. 5, Olga Teslenko, Ukraine, 9.662. 6, Elvire Teza, France, 9.650. 7, Kristin Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa., 9.512. 8, Elena Produnova, Russia, 9.412. (NOTE: tie between Khorkina and Kui broken based on scores from qualifying round.)