47 women qualify for 2007 Visa Championships
posted on 08/02/2007
Nastia Liukin, Photo AA(C) Steve Lange
© Steve Lange

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Aug. 2, 2007 — Defending U.S. all-around champion Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, is one of 47 women qualified to compete at the 2007 Visa Championships, Aug. 15-18, at HP Pavilion at San Jose (Calif.). In addition to national titles, berths on the 2007 U.S. World Championships Team and the 2007 Women’s National Team are at stake.

 

Other top gymnasts in the field include:  Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla., the 2006 world all-around silver medalist; Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo., the 2007 Pan Am Games all-around bronze medalist; Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, the 2007 Pan Am Games all-around champion; Natasha Kelley of Katy, Texas, 2006 world team silver medalist; Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis., the 2005 all-around world champion; Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind., 2007 Pan Am Games team gold medalist; Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., the 2005 floor exercise world champion; and Amber Trani of Richlandtown, Pa., the 2007 Pan Am Games vault silver medalist. 2007 Pan Am Games team gold-medalist Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, is competing in the junior division.

 

The qualified athletes, 23 seniors and 24 juniors representing 20 states, are listed below.

 

The U.S. champions for men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics are determined at the Visa Championships, gymnastics’ national championships.  Artistic gymnastics will be held at HP Pavilion at San Jose, and rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics are set for the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, held in conjunction with the Visa Championships, will also be at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

 

At HP Pavilion, the artistic gymnastics competition schedule for the Visa Championships is: Wednesday, Aug. 15 – 1 p.m., junior men’s all-around and event finals, and 7 p.m., senior men’s first day of competition; Thursday, Aug. 16 – 1 p.m., junior women’s first day of competition, and 7 p.m., senior women’s first day of competition; Friday, Aug. 17 – 7 p.m., senior men’s final day of competition; and Saturday, Aug. 18 – 1 p.m., junior women’s final day of competition, and 6 p.m., senior women’s final day of competition. NBC Sports is broadcasting action from the women’s competition on a same weekend, tape-delayed basis during prime time. Coverage from the men’s competition airs later.

 

Visa Championships tickets for men's and women's artistic and rhythmic/acrobatic gymnastics are on sale now at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office; all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone at (408) 998-TIXS; or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

 

In 2006, Liukin and Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo./Team Chevron, joined an impressive list of gymnasts who have earned the coveted title of U.S. all-around champion.  Some of the sport’s biggest names are former all-around champions, including Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kim Zmeskal and Mary Lou Retton for the women and Paul Hamm, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Mitch Gaylord, Peter Vidmar and Bart Conner for the men.