ATHENS – Rhythmic Olympian Mary Sanders wrapped up her Athens Olympic Games experience on Friday, finishing 15th in individual all-around qualification at the Galatsi Olympic Hall.
Sanders improved three places from day one of competition with two perfectly executed routines in ribbon and clubs. Sanders, competing first in both the third and fourth rotations, scored a 22.100 with the ribbon, and 23.400 in clubs. Sanders finished seventh with the clubs at the 2003 World Championships.
“I”m really happy with all of my performances,” Sander said. “I just tried to go out there and be consistent, no drops, and my coach Mimi, that”s all she really asked from me. It was a little hard competing today considering the circumstances of being first in the draw, but I”m really happy with how I competed.”
Sanders, who turned 19 on Thursday, finished 10th at the 2003 World Championships to qualify the United States for a berth in the Olympic Games. Sanders is the three-time reigning U.S. national champion, and was the highest non-European/non-Western Asian competitor at the Olympic Games.
Sanders finished with a final mark of 90.000, 5.925 points away from finals qualification.
The top 10 athletes following today”s competition qualify for the individual all-around final at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 29.
Russia”s Alina Kabaeva, a two-time world champion and five-time European champion, earned the second best scores on clubs and ribbon to hold on to first place in all-around qualifying with a final score of 105.875. Russia”s Irina Tchachina is second at 105.675, with Ukraine”s Anna Bessonova third at 104.725.
Competition continues Saturday with the group rhythmic final at 4:30 p.m., followed Sunday by the individual all-around final at 3:30 p.m.
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