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TOKYO, Oct. 11, 2011 – A young and talented U.S. women's team won the world title at the 2011 World Championships at the Tokyo (Japan) Metropolitan Gymnasium, besting second place Russia by over 4 points. This is the USA's third women's world team title, following up on 2003 and 2007.
"This is a very young team and I knew they were well prepared physically, but we were not sure how they would hold up under the pressure of three-up, three-count," said Martha Karolyi, the U.S. women's national team coordinator. "It is harder than the qualifications, and these girls proved that they did the right preparation physically and mentally also. I am very proud of them.
"I am very satisfied," said Karolyi. "This is my passion and every time the results come up as you plan, you certainly are extremely happy, and that is how I feel today -- happy and proud of the program and these young ladies."
The women on the U.S. Team are: Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute; McKayla Maroney of Laguna Niguel, Calif./All Olympia AOGC; Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics; Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA. Team member Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, who tore her Achilles tendon during training, has returned to the States for medical treatment, and Anna Li of Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC, is the alternate.
"I feel awesome and I am so proud of each and every one on this team," said Wieber. "We went out there and were confident and did our job and it turned out awesome."
The U.S. women started on vault. Raisman led off with a Yurchenko double full, earning a 14.950. Both Wieber and Maroney executed Amanars, earning a 15.833 and 16.033, respectively. The USA had the lead after the first rotation and never relinquished it.
On bars, Vega started the USA off right with a nice clean routine, complete with a full twisting double back dismount for a 14.366. Wieber went next and swung a rock solid bar routine that ended with a double layout dismount for a 14.766. Douglas went last and once again showed incredible amplitude for her two release moves (Tkatchev and Pak), posting a 14.733.
Vega again led off for the USA, this time on balance beam. She executed a routine with a front aerial to back handspring layout, a front tuck, and a powerful back handspring, back handspring, double pike for a 14.833. Raisman followed using her trademark double Arabian dismount, which she stuck and posted a 14.866. Wieber finished the rotation with her standing full and back handspring, back handspring two-and-a-half twist dismount to score a 15.033.
Maroney led off on floor exercise, the USA's final event. Her routine included a three-and-a-half twist in her first tumbling pass and tallied a 14.566. Wieber followed with an incredible double-twisting, double-back mount and earned a 14.766. Raisman went last on floor and executed a very clean routine, including a piked double Arabian, for a 14.833 and to clinch the team title.
"It is a dream come true (to win the title)," said Raisman. "I am so excited and honored to have this gold medal around my neck. I am really proud of the team."
Raisman gathered the team together before going into the final rotation. The U.S. Women ended up with a 179.411 for the title. Russia was second at 175.329, with China in third at 172.820.
"I was here (on the World Team) last year and so I kind of know how the team finals go," said Raisman. "It is only my second year so I am still learning, but I told all of the girls that we are going to remember this for the rest of our lives and to go out there, own it and have fun. Alicia is here with us in spirit, and we all knew that her heart was here. We did it for her. She deserved the gold medal and we are really happy that we got it for her."
The finals schedule is: Oct. 12, men's team; Oct. 13, women's all-around; Oct. 14, men's all-around; and Oct. 15-16, individual events.
The U.S. men compete in the men's team finals tomorrow. The members are: Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma; Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Academy); Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y./Team Hilton Honors (University of Oklahoma); Danell Leyva of Homestead, Fla./Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics); Alexander Naddour of Gilbert, Ariz./University of Oklahoma; and John Orozco, Bronx, N.Y., U.S. Olympic Training Center. Chris Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Academy), is the alternate.
Fans can follow the action at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships via the web, cable TV and network television. Universal Sports will carry a live webcast of the finals, as well as same-day coverage on its cable network. In addition, usagym.org will have photos and updates from Tokyo, with expanded coverage of "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team presented by AT&T." NBC Sports will broadcast coverage of the World Championships on Oct. 15-16.
Here's a quick overview of the various ways to watch and follow the U.S. Team's performances at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.
Live webcast. UniversalSports.com will have a live webcast of the team, all-around and individual event finals from Tokyo for $19.99. For U.S. Eastern Daylight Savings time, the live webcasts are scheduled for: Oct. 12 – men's team final, 5 a.m.; Oct. 13 – women's all-around final, 5 a.m.; Oct. 14 – men's all-around final, 6 a.m.; Oct. 15 – individual event finals, 12:30 a.m.; and Oct. 16 – individual event finals, 1 a.m. (NOTE: Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of New York City; when it is midnight in Tokyo, it is 11 a.m. in New York.)
Cable TV. Universal Sports will show all of the finals on its cable network during prime time. At 8 p.m. ET each day, Universal Sports will show the men's team final on Oct. 12; men's all-around finals on Oct. 14; and individual event finals on Oct. 15-16. The women's team final will air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 15, and the women's all-around final, with men's highlights, will air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 16.
NBC. NBC Sports' coverage of the World Championships will broadcast the women's team final at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, and the women's all-around final at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16.
"Behind the Team." "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team presented by AT&T" will provide expanded coverage from the World Championships, including John Macready's take on the championships and Tokyo, interviews, and more. To enjoy this added coverage, you can go to att.net/teamusa or access it from usagym.org.
Usagym.org will provide enhanced coverage from Tokyo that will include results and exclusive photos from the competition, as well as daily video interviews. USA Gymnastics will also post event updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Team Finals Results
1. USA - 179.411
2. Russia - 175.329
3. China - 172.820
4. Romania - 172.412
5. Great Britain - 169.670
6. Germany - 168.479
7. Japan - 167.122
8. Australia - 166.439
U.S. Individual Scores
McKayla Maroney - 16.033
Jordyn Wieber - 15.833
Aly Raisman - 14.950
Jordyn Wieber - 14.766
Gabrielle Douglas - 14.733
Sabrina Vega - 14.366
Jordyn Wieber - 15.033
Aly Raisman - 14.866
Sabrina Vega - 14.833
Jordyn Wieber - 14.766
Aly Raisman - 14.666
McKayla Maroney - 14.566