Sporting hot pink leotards complete with rhinestones, the U.S. women had their first chance to practice on the competition equipment during podium training at the 2011 World Championships at the Tokyo (Japan) Metropolitan Gymnasium. The men’s podium training session is Oct. 5 at 11:15 a.m. local time.
The U.S. women drew the seventh subdivision and took to the floor along with gymnasts from Brazil, Germany and a mixed group that included Colombia and Cyprus.
"I think podium training went really well today," said Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., who already has nine World medals to her credit. "I think it is one of the best podium trainings that I’ve been a part of, and I am really proud of the girls for going out there and being aggressive and hitting their routines."
In addition to Sacramone, the U.S. Women’s Team includes Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute; McKayla Maroney of Laguna Niguel, Calif./All Olympia AOGC; Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics; Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics; Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA. Anna Li of Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC, will be the alternate.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium hosted the Japan Cup earlier this year.
"I think podium training went really well," said Wieber, who recently won the U.S. all-around title. "Our goal was to go out as a team, be confident and aggressive, and do our routines like we know how to do them – basically getting used to the arena, the lights and everything. I was so excited (to be in the arena). I’ve been working toward this for a long time, and I just wanted to go out and represent the USA the best that I can."
"The arena is a little small but in a nice way," said Sacramone. "It’s not too overwhelming and it’s definitely feels at home. The equipment is really good. When the crowd is here, it will be intimate and nice and a good place for competition."
The World Championships get underway on Oct. 7, with the first day of women’s qualifications. The U.S. women compete on the second day, Oct. 8. Men’s qualification rounds are Oct. 9-10. The finals schedule is: Oct. 11, women’s team; Oct. 12, men’s team; Oct. 13, women’s all-around; Oct. 14, men’s all-around; and Oct. 15-16, individual events.
Fans can follow the action at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships via the web, cable TV and network television. Universal Sports will carry a live webcast of the finals, as well as same-day coverage on its cable network. In addition, usagym.org will have photos and updates from Tokyo, with expanded coverage of "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team presented by AT&T." NBC Sports will broadcast coverage of the World Championships on Oct. 15-16.
Here’s a quick overview of the various ways to watch and follow the U.S. Team’s performances at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.
Live webcast. UniversalSports.com will have a live webcast of the team, all-around and individual event finals from Tokyo for $19.99. For U.S. Eastern Daylight Savings time, the live webcasts are scheduled for: Oct. 11 – women’s team final, 6 a.m.; Oct. 12 – men’s team final, 5 a.m.; Oct. 13 – women’s all-around final, 5 a.m.; Oct. 14 – men’s all-around final, 6 a.m.; Oct. 15 – individual event finals, 12:30 a.m.; and Oct. 16 – individual event finals, 1 a.m. (NOTE: Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of New York City; when it is midnight in Tokyo, it is 11 a.m. in New York.)
Cable TV. Universal Sports will show all of the finals on its cable network during prime time. At 8 p.m. ET each day, Universal Sports will show the men’s team final on Oct. 12; men’s all-around finals on Oct. 14; and individual event finals on Oct. 15-16. The women’s team final will air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 15, and the women’s all-around final, with men’s highlights, will air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 16.
NBC. NBC Sports’ coverage of the World Championships will broadcast the women’s team final at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, and the women’s all-around final at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16.
"Behind the Team." "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team presented by AT&T" will provide expanded coverage from the World Championships, including John Macready’s take on the championships and Tokyo, interviews, and more. To enjoy this added coverage, you can go to att.net/teamusa or access it from usagym.org.
Usagym.org will provide enhanced coverage from Tokyo that will include results and exclusive photos from the competition, as well as daily video interviews. USA Gymnastics will also post event updates on Facebook and Twitter.