© Tom Theobald

GUADALAJARA, Spain, May 3, 2019 — Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./ North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, qualified for the hoop and ball event finals on the first day of qualifications at the Guadalajara (Spain) World Challenge Cup at the Guadalajara Multipurpose Pavillon. The U.S. group advanced to the 5 balls final. Competition continues tomorrow with the second day of qualifications and the all-around final.

In the hoop qualification, Zeng posted the fourth-best score of 20.100 to advance to the final. Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles/California Rhythms, was 13th at 18.050. For ball, Zeng’s seventh-place ranking (19.200) also secured a berth to the final. Generalova was 14th at 17.050. Russia’s Aleksandra Soldatova had the top scores for both hoop (22.300) and ball (21.450).

After two of four events, Zeng is fourth in the all-around rankings at 39.300 and Generalova is 15th at 35.100. Soldatova and her teammate Ekaterina Selezneva are first (43.750) and second (41.550), with Ukraine’s Khrystyna Pohranychna in third (41.350).

With its fifth-place finish, the U.S. group qualified to the 5 balls final with their 21.150. Italy had the highest mark at 25.500. The members of the U.S. group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, are Isabelle Connor of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill.; Yelyzaveta Merenzon of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Elizaveta Pletneva of Deerfield, Ill.; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Kristina Sobolevskaya of Chicago.

The remaining competition schedule is individual event qualifications for clubs and ribbon at 2 p.m. (Group A) and 4:20 p.m. (Group B) on May 4, with the group’s 3 hoops/4 clubs sessions at 8 p.m.; and finals on May 5, beginning at 3 p.m. (hoop, ball, 5 balls, clubs, ribbon, and 3 hoops/4 clubs. All times are local to Guadalajara, which is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time.

On Sunday, May 5, U.S. based fans can watch the event finals live on OlympicChannel.com at 9 a.m. ET, as well as tape-delayed on the Olympic Channel at 4 p.m. ET, with a simulcast. The NBC Sports app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

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 taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. Former gymnast and business executive Li Li Leung is the new president and chief executive officer of USA Gymnastics. 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, visit usagym.org.