RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 15, 2007 – Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, and Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo., all qualified to the finals for the all-around competition at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 16. In addition, four U.S. women advanced to the individual event finals on July 17.
The team finals on July 14, where the U.S. Team won the gold medal, served as the qualification round for advancement to the all-around and individual event finals. Johnson had the highest all-around score for the night at 61.850. A total of 24 and a maximum of three athletes from any country may advance to the finals based on the all-around rank order. Bross was third and Hong was fifth in the all-around qualification and therefore advance to the finals. Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind., also finished in the top eight but did not advance due to the maximum three-athlete rule.
The U.S. women advanced in each of the four events. Amber Trani of Richlandtown, Pa., was the lone U.S. gymnast who performed the two vaults required to qualify for the vault finals, which she did. The other qualifiers are: uneven bars and balance beam – Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, and Johnson; and floor exercise – Johnson and Bross. The women who scored in the top eight but were ineligible to advance due to the maximum two-athlete-per-country rule for individual finals were: Bross in the uneven bars and balance beam; Hong in the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise; Peszek on the balance beam; and Trani in the floor exercise.
Liukin competed only in uneven bars and balance beam, and Trani only competed in the floor exercise and vault. Valeri Liukin of Parker, Texas, is head coach, with Donna Strauss of Allentown, Pa., assistant coach.
The men’s all-around competition is on July 15, with the women’s set for July 16. The individual event finals for both men and women are July 17.