© John Cheng

DOHA, Qatar, Oct. 23, 2018 – From their sparkling leotards to their focused training and solid routines, the 2018 U.S. Women’s World Championships Team dazzled during the team’s podium training session today at the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar. Competition begins on Oct. 25 with the qualification rounds and wraps up on Nov. 4 with the last day of finals. The U.S. men compete on Oct. 26 and the women on Oct. 27 in the qualification round. The three countries that medal in the team competition advance to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

2016 Olympic and three-time World all-around champion Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, anchors the six-woman team. In addition to Biles, the team features 2017 World all-around champion Morgan Hurd of Middletown, Del./First State Gymnastics; 2018 Senior Pan Am Championships balance beam champion Kara Eaker of Grain Valley, Missouri/ Great American Gymnastics Express; 2018 Senior Pan Am Championships all-around champion Grace McCallum of Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twisters; 2018 U.S. all-around silver-medalist Riley McCusker of Brielle, N.J./MG Elite; and 2016 Olympic alternate Ragan Smith of Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics. The alternate will be determined prior to Saturday’s competition.

“Our podium training was exactly what we wanted,” said Tom Forster, the high-performance team coordinator for USA Gymnastics’ women’s program. “A dress rehearsal to prepare us for Saturday. We found out the things we need to work on.”

Biles said, “It’s going well (with the team). We are getting along very well together. It’s going good. And, I’m really happy with floor and vault (in podium training).”

Hurd added, “It is so different (from competing at an individual World Championships). Being out there with all of these girls brings so much energy and it’s great.”

At Worlds, the U.S. men compete in the qualification round in Subdivision 6 on Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. and begin on vault. The women’s qualifying round is Subdivision 5 on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m., where they will start on the uneven bars. The finals schedule is: Oct. 29, men’s team, 4 p.m.; Oct. 30, women’s team final, 4 p.m.; Oct. 31, men’s all-around, 4 p.m.; Nov. 1, women’s all-around; Nov. 2, event finals (men – floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings; women – vault, uneven bars), 4 p.m.; and Nov. 3, event finals (men – vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar; women – balance beam, floor exercise), 4 p.m. All times are local to Doha.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that encourages and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has already taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. The organization’s disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and gymnastics for all (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to usagym.org.