Alicia Sacramone
© V. Minkus

STUTTGART, Germany, Sept. 2, 2007 – For the second straight year, the U.S. women finished the qualification round at the top of the team standings at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, as well as secured a berth to the 2008 Olympic Games.  The USA posted a total score of 245.025 to finish ahead of China and Romania at 241.175 and 239.875, respectively.  The U.S. men compete in the qualification round on Tuesday, Sept. 4.


“I really liked the way these young girls went out there tonight,” said Martha Karolyi, U.S. women’s national team coordinator, “and you must remember they are a very young team. They showed confidence out there today. I have faith in them.”


“This is a good start,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.  “They went out and did what they needed to do.”


In addition to qualifying for the team competition, the qualification round also determines who advances to the all-around and individual event finals.  Scores from the qualification round do not carry forward.  Both Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, and Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, advanced to the all-around finals.  Shayla Worley of Orlando, Fla., finished eighth in all-around qualifying but is precluded from the finals because only two gymnasts per country may advance.


Johnson, Liukin and Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., advanced to the individual event finals of the 2007 World Championships.  Sacramone will compete in the finals for both vault and floor exercise.  Liukin advanced to the finals for both uneven bars and balance beam, and Johnson will compete in the balance beam and floor exercise finals.  Sacramone and Worley finished in the top eight for the balance beam but did not advance due to the limitation of two athletes per country.


The U.S. Team took the lead in the qualification round after the first rotation and did not let go.  The members of the U.S. Team are:  Ivana Hong of