LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The United States joined five other nations in the women’s team competition finals and four USA athletes earned spots in individual finals as women’s qualifying competition concluded at the 1997 World Gymnastics Championships at the Malley Sports Center here Tuesday.

The United States ended the qualifying round in sixth place, good enough to advance to Thursday’s team finals, where the top six teams start with a clean slate. Joining the USA are Russia, China, Romania, Ukraine and France.
The results bore out the thoughts of USA head coach Mary Lee Tracy, Cincinnati, Ohio. “I knew it would be really important to win our subdivision. Belarus was a contender, and I thought we had to stay in front of them to have a chance to finish in the top six and advance to the team finals.” Belarus finished in seventh place.
Leading the Americans into individual competition will be Kristin Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa., who qualified for the individual all-around and the balance beam. She will be joined in the all-around by Kristy Powell, Cincinnati, Ohio, and 1996 Olympian Dominique Moceanu, Houston, Texas. The top 36 individuals, with a maximum of three per country, advanced to the individual all-around finals. Mohini Bhardwaj, Altamonte Springs, Fla., is among the eight athletes to advance to finals in vault.
Action results for the USA on Wednesday when the men’s team takes the floor for qualifying competition. Team finals for both men and women are Thursday, followed by individual all-around competition on Friday and individual event finals on Saturday and Sunday.