INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Aug. 11, 2005 – Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis./M&M Gymnastics and Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla./BOCA Gymnastics, lead the women’s all-around after the first day of competition at the 2005 Visa Championships at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Tonight’s scores count 50 percent toward the total all-around and event scores used to determine individual national champions and the National Team.
Memmel, the reigning world uneven bars champion and a 2004 Olympic team alternate is first with 38.382 points. Memmel began the meet with a 9.366 for her double-twisting Yurchenko vault before earning the second-highest score of the day on bars, 9.666. Her beam routine, featuring two varieties of half-twisting flips, earned the event’s highest score, 9.700. Memmel concluded her second all-around competition in almost a year and a half with a 9.650 on floor exercise.
“It feels great, but it feels even better to be back as an all-around gymnast,” Memmel said. “It’s so much fun to compete all-around. I love it.”
Bieger, last year’s junior bronze medalist, earned scores in the top four on three events and is in second with 37.615 points. Her beam routine, highlighted by flips starting from and ending in a kneeling position, was her highest score, 9.533.
A tenth behind Bieger, Nastia Liukin of Plano, Texas/World Olympic Gymnastics, is third with 37.515 points. Liukin, a two-time junior national champion, had the highest score of the day on uneven bars where her intricate routine earned a 9.750. In the following rotation, Liukin had an uncharacteristic mistake balance beam, lowering her score to 8.783.
“I definitely want to improve my beam, for Saturday,” Liukin said. “I missed the wolf full after the Onodi. I didn’t get it around, so I didn’t get the bonus for it.”” ” The Visa Championships include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics is contested at Conseco Fieldhouse, with rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics staged at the Indiana Convention Center.
Tickets for the 2005 Visa Championships may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, over the phone at 317-239-5151 or at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.