Liukin, Memmel tie for all-around title at 2006 Pacific Alliance Championsh
posted on 04/13/2006
Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, and Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis., tied for the all-around title at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships at the Neil Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. The U.S. women won the team title with 183.150 points over Australia, 177.050 points. Canada, with 172.050, finished third.

With the night’s highest uneven bars score of 15.950, Liukin had amassed enough points to overcome a stumble on floor in the final rotation on a one and a half twist to a punch front (front flip). Her beam score, 15.600 points, was third best, helping take her all-around total to 61.050 points. “Most of my routines are really new since Worlds,” Liukin said. “I just think I need a little more time with them to be consistent.”

Memmel, in her first competition under the new code of points and her first since minor ankle surgery, trailed Liukin heading into her final apparatus, floor exercise. Except for vault, all of Memmel’s scores ranked among the top three. She earned the night’s highest floor score, 15.450, with good landings on all of her difficult tumbling passes, including a high double layout and an Arabian double front. “I didn’t think I was that close to Nastia going into floor so I didn’t really think about winning,” Memmel said. “I’m just really happy with my floor performance and happy to be back competing again.”

Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla, earned the third-highest all-around score but because only two athletes per country are eligible for medals, Australia’s Hollie Dykes received the bronze medal. Bieger was the only U.S. athlete to perform two vaults and she easily earned the highest vault score of the evening, 14.850 points.

Bieger qualified for the vault final, Liukin and Shayla Worley of Orlando, Fla., qualifed on bars. Memmel and Liukin qualified for event finals on beam, and Bieger and Memmel qualified on floor.

In the junior division, Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Bianca Flohr of Creston, Ohio, finished 1-2 in the all-around, leading the U.S. junior women to the team title over second-place Canada.

Tessa Pama of Dana Point, Calif, and Rebecca Bross of Ann Arbor, Mich, earned the third- and fourth-highest all-around scores but because only two athletes per country are eligible for all-around awards, China’s Xio Sha received the bronze medal.

Flohr earned the highest score on uneven bars, 15.350, while Johnson was best on vault, where her double-twisting Yurchenko scored 15.000 points. On floor, she sealed her all-around victory with a 15.350-point score.

“I knew that if I wanted a chance to win that I had to go out and do a great floor routine,” Johnson said. “This was such a big accomplishment because I wanted to prove myself after my last meet in Montreal and I think I did that.”

All four U.S. juniors qualified for an event final. Johnson will compete on vault, beam and floor; Pama will compete on vault, bars, and floor; Flohr will compete on bars; and Bross will compete on beam.

Rhythmic

Mexico’s Cynthia Valdez earned the highest scores with rope and ball, 14.200 and 13.650, respectively. Olga Karmansky of Brooklyn, N.Y., finished just behind Valdez in the rope standings, scoring 13.925 points. Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md., with a 13.800, earned the third-highest rope score while Aline Bakchajian of Woodland Hills, Calif., earned the third-highest ball score. In the junior division, Rachel Marmer of Hollywood Calif., and Marlee Shape of Buffalo Grove Ill., advanced to the finals in hoop and rope. Marmer had the highest scores on both apparatus. The all-around and team titles for rhythmic gymnastics will be determined on Friday, April 14.


 
Tickets are $15 and $30 for artistic gymnastics, with all-session packages for $45 or $75. For rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline, tickets are $15. Tickets may be purchased at the Neal Blaisdell Center Box Office, ticketmaster.com or by calling 877-750-4400 (charge-by-phone). Applicable service fees may apply. NBC Sports is broadcasting action from the Pacific Alliance Championships on April 16 at 4 p.m. ET.

This year’s Pacific Alliance Championships is locally presented by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and OHANA Hotels & Resorts and sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Chevron and KHNL/Channel 8 News. A Tom Moffatt Production, Inc., is a promotional partner for the event.