ARHUS, Denmark – Due to an injured right shoulder, 2005 all-around world champion Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis., has withdrawn from the all-around finals at the 2006 World Championships scheduled for later today.
The USA’s Ashley Priess of Hamilton, Ohio, will now compete in the all-around finals, along with Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla.
"This is a difficult decision for me to make, but it is the right one for me physically," said Memmel. "My right shoulder is very sore and swollen. It happened yesterday on the uneven bars, and I don’t have a full range of motion at this time. As a result, I would not be able to go out and do what I want to do, and I believe the right thing is to give my teammate, Ashley, the opportunity to go out and show what she can do. I also hope by doing this that I might be able to participate in the individual event finals. It will totally depend on how my shoulder is doing at the time."
Memmel injured her right shoulder at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships in April and this well may be an aggravation of that old injury.
"We are disappointed for Chellsie because she is such an outstanding athlete, but we fully support this precautionary step," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "We believe this is the right course of action. The decision on the individual events will be made based on how she is feeling at the time."
Priess placed ninth in the all-around qualification round but did not advance originally to the all-around finals due to the maximum two athletes per country rule.