Julie Zetlin

MOSCOW, Sept. 23, 2010 – U.S. rhythmic gymnastics all-around champion Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md., qualified to compete in the all-around finals at the 2010 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, held at the Olympiysky Sports Complex in Moscow. She is the first U.S. gymnast to advance to the all-around finals since Mary Sanders in 2003. The rhythmic all-around finals are tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 24, and the World Championships conclude on Sunday, Sept. 26, after two days of group competition.

Zetlin, who finished 23rd in the all-around (the top 24 advance to the all-around finals), commented on her performances, "I’m more than satisfied. This has been the most consistent performance of the year for me. I’ve been training hard. My coaches and the entire team helped me a lot. I’m very thankful to them."

"Julie and the entire team have worked hard to achieve a new level of performance," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "We are very proud of their efforts and accomplishments thus far this week and congratulate all of them."

The USA Team finished 15th out of 38 in the team competition with a score of 241.250. Russia earned top honors for the team title with a score of 284.925. Belarus finished second with a score of 269.700. Azerbaijan took the bronze medal with a team score of 265.225. This is the second-highest team result for the USA at a World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships; the team placed 10th in 2003.

Zetlin trains at Capital Rhythmics in Gaithersburg, Md., with her coach Olga Kutuzova.

The other members of the U.S. World Team are: JoAnna Arnold of Northville, Mich./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; Shelby Kisiel of Houston/North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; and Olga Pavlenko of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora.

The U.S. group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmics in Buffalo Grove, Ill., includes: Jessica Bogdanova, Stephanie Flaksman, Megan Frohlich, Michelle Przybylo, Sofya Roytburg, and Sydney Sachs. The group competes on Sept. 25-26.