Stuttgart, 5 September 2007: The US Women’s Team (Alicia SACRAMONE, Shawn JOHNSON, Nastia LIUKIN, Shayla WORLEY and Samantha PESZEK) won their second World Team title, on Wednesday, 5 September at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart. Their score was 184.400 points.
This followed their first title win in Anaheim (USA) 2003.
The Silver medals went to the 2006 Champions China, 183.450 (JIANG Yuyan, YANG Yilin, CHENG Fei, HE Ning, LI Shanshan and XIAO Sha), and the Bronze medal, to Romania, 178. 100 (DRUNCEA Daniela, NISTOR Steliana, IZBASA Sandra, PONOR Catalina, and PATRASCU Ceraseia).
4. Italy (175. 450) 5. Brazil - 175.125 6. France - 173.600 7. Great Britain- 169.175 and 8. Russia, 164.525, who, being in the third position, suffered a dramatic development on Vault in the last rotation.
The USA was best on Vault (45.950), their opening apparatus, on A. Bars (47.325) and on Floor (45.325).
China gave a stunning performance on Beam (48.150), where Romania came second (45.850) and the USA, third (45.800).
The Team Final format 6-3-3 (six gymnasts in the team, 3 perform on each apparatus, all the 3 scores count towards the Team total), first introduced in Anaheim 2003, is often called by the gymnasts “The Death Final” because there are no notes to be neglected as it is in the Qualifications.
This is exactly what made Russia’s disaster in the last rotation possible. LOZHECHKO performing first did not score very high (13.875); then KRAMARENKO, momentarily losing her focus, touched the board and the Vaulting table, which led to a score of 00.00. The 2000 Olympic Champion, Elena ZAMOLODCIKOVA, performing last, tears in her eyes, added 14.975 without any chance to compensate for the loss.
The USA celebrated their first World Team Podium in Indianapolis 1991 with Silver medals. Since then they have put together a tally of 1 Gold (Anaheim’03), 3 Silver (Indianapolis’91, Dortmund’94, Aarhus’06) and 2 Bronze medals (Sabae’95 and Ghent’01).
Their victory in Stuttgart was well deserved, and acclaimed by the 5.500 spectators/. VA
photo Getty Images