Lisa Wang

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 16, 2007— 2007 Pan Am Games rhythmic gymnastics all-around champion Lisa Wang of Buffalo Grove, Ill., won hoop and clubs and leads the all-around competition at the 2007 Visa Championships at the San Jose (Calif.) McEnery Convention Center. In the junior division, Marlee Shape, also of Buffalo Grove, Ill., claimed two individual event titles, hoop and ribbon, and is first in the all-around competition at the half-way point. The all-around finals for rhythmic gymnastics are Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m. PT.


The top 12 juniors and the top 12 seniors in today’s competition advanced to the all-around finals. The all-around awards are based on the two-day scores.


Acrobatic gymnastics competition begins tomorrow, while men’s artistic gymnastics competition concludes tomorrow evening.  Women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics wrap up on the final day of the Visa Championships on Saturday.


Wang, the defending all-around champion, leads the all-around with a score of 62.950, followed by Rachel Marmer of Los Angeles, the four-time U.S. junior all-around champion who is in second with a score of 61.300, and 2006 U.S. clubs and rope champion Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md., who is in third with a score of 60.850.


“I feel like I could’ve done better,” Wang said. “I wasn’t as consistent and as sharp. I tried to show all of my expression and amplitude, but I had a few drops here and there. I’m looking forward to showing my best on Saturday.”


Today’s competition in the senior division was a battle among Wang, Marmer and Zetlin, who earned the top three spots in every event. Wang opened with hoop and posted the highest score of the day to win the gold medal with a 16.625. Despite drops during her next three routines, she added a second gold with a score of 15.425 in clubs, and won silver medals in rope and ribbon. Marmer earned her first U.S. senior title by winning rope with a score of 15.625, as well as a silver medal in clubs and bronze in hoop and ribbon. Zetlin’s gold medal came in ribbon with a score of 15.950. She also claimed a silver in hoop and bronze medals in rope and clubs.


“I was scared,” Marmer said of competing in the senior division for the first time at the Visa Championships. “I feel like I did pretty well, but I’m expecting to do better on Saturday.”


“After my first routine (hoop), I was pretty happy, but I always tell myself not to relax because anything can happen,” Zetlin said. “I love my ribbon routine; it’s my favorite and I think it shows. All I know I can do is fight (for the all-around title) on Saturday because it’s not over yet.”


In the junior division, Shape won hoop and ribbon with scores of 14.850 and 14.750, respectively. The other individual event winners were: Anastasia Torba of Orinda, Calif., rope, 13.375; and Viktoriya Syatkina of Brooklyn