2007 women’s team world champions
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STUTTGART, Germany, Sept. 5, 2007 – The U.S. women demonstrated their toughness and mettle when they came back on the last event to win the women’s team gold medal at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.  All three women nailed their floor exercise routines to pull ahead of defending champion China and win the title, 184.400 to 183.450.


This was just the second world team title in U.S. history and the first won outside of the United States. The U.S. women last won the gold medal in 2003 in Anaheim, Calif., and were the silver medalists in 2006 in Aarhus, Denmark.


“We are all very proud of how this group stuck together as a team and fought until the very end,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.  “It is the result we were hoping for and have worked to achieve.”


The members of the U.S. Team are:  Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo.; Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa; Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas; Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind.; Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass.; and Shayla Worley of Orlando, Fla. Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., is the reserve athlete.  In the team finals, three women competed on each apparatus and all scores counted. For complete results of today’s competition, visit www.usa-gymnastics.org.


The U.S. women dropped behind China after balance beam, the third event, when Liukin changed her dismount to a back tuck to land securely and Johnson missed landing a layout on her acro series.  Sacramone was the first up on balance beam and had a basically clean routine to score a 15.600, the team’s highest. 


“Our strategy after the not so successful beam was to go to the next event, think of that next event, think of the preparation that has been done and remember past successes on it,” said Martha Karolyi, U.S. women’s national team coordinator. “I am extremely proud of this tough team that was able to come back after the setback on beam. They showed toughness and it was no less than I expected.” 


The U.S. women were paired with the Chinese squad in the rotations because they were first and second, respectively, after the qualification round.  Starting on vault, the USA earned a total of 45.950.  Sacramone earned at 15.750 for her handspring Rudi (front with one-and-a-half twist).  Both Johnson and Peszek did a Yurchenko double twist to claim a 15.150 and a 15.050, respectively.  China’s total vault score was 44.375. Cheng Fei sat when landing her Yurchenko two-and-a-half twist to earn a 15.025.