Oct 2, 2013, 3:30 PM EST
Gymnastics’ two-per-country rule left Jordyn Wieber in tears at the London Olympics. The rule took McKayla Maroney out of the World Championships all-around Wednesday.
Maroney, the not-impressed Fierce Five member, competed in the all-around at a major international meet for the first time at worlds in Antwerp, Belgium, in qualifying. Two other U.S. gymnasts, Simone Biles and Kyla Ross, also entered the all-around.
The top 24 women from qualifying, no more than two per country, advanced to Friday’s final. Going in, everyone knew only two of Maroney, Biles and Ross would advance, even if they qualified one-two-three.
Biles and Ross were the top two qualifiers when everybody finished Wednesday, scoring 60.133 and 59.198 points, respectively. Maroney was sixth (57.149) and therefore the highest-scoring woman who will not get a chance to compete for all-around medals. In 2012, Wieber was fourth in qualifying, behind Aly Raisman (second) and Gabby Douglas (third).
“I’ve came a long away, so I’m really happy with what I’ve accomplished,” Maroney said in a video interview posted by USA Gymnastics. “I’m proud of myself at the end of the day.”
The World Championships in the year after the Olympics do not include a team event. The all-around final is Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern time, and the individual event finals are Saturday and Sunday. The men’s all-around final is Thursday.
The U.S. all-around champion Biles, 16, became the first U.S. woman since Shannon Miller in 1991 to qualify for all four event finals at the World Championships.
In addition to being No. 1 in the all-around, she qualified first on floor exercise (15.033), second on vault (15.55), fifth on balance beam (14.4) and sixth on uneven bars (14.8). The top eight (again, maximum two per country) make the event finals.
“I think (U.S. national team coordinator) Martha Karolyi makes me more nervous than the judges sometimes,” Biles said.
Ross, the youngest member of the 2012 Olympic champion team, qualified second into the uneven bars final (15.133), third into the balance beam final (14.566) and sixth into the floor final (14.333). She went through qualification Tuesday, a day before Biles and Maroney.
“Everything went pretty well,” Ross said Tuesday. “I know I was going to be the first for the Americans. so I just wanted to have a good and strong start and lead everyone off.”
Maroney was the top qualifier on vault, where she is the defending world champion and Olympic silver medalist. She scored a 15.641 in qualifying. That will be her only worlds final, on Saturday.
“I am here right now because at the Olympics I didn’t get to defend that (vault) title,” said Maroney, who fractured a tibia in the post-Olympic gymnastics tour in September. “That was the main reason I had all that motivation to come back and get my butt over here today.”
Biles and Ross put a dent into Russian Aliya Mustafina‘s favorite status in the all-around. Mustafina, the 2010 world all-around champion, qualified fifth into Friday’s final with 57.165 points. She fell on floor and vault and wobbled on beam.
There’s a chance the U.S. could go one-two in the World Championships all-around in the year after the Olympics for the third straight time, following Chellsie Memmel and Nastia Liukin in 2005 and Bridget Sloan and Rebecca Bross in 2009.
Dec 9, 2013, 10:35 AM EST
David Remnick, a Pulitzer Prize winner and editor of The New Yorker, will contribute to NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony and offer commentary for NBC News. Remnick, 55, is the former Moscow Bureau Chief for The Washington Post and won his Pulitzer for his book, “Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire.” “I…
Dec 8, 2013, 3:39 PM EST
Ted Ligety dominated as usual. Bode Miller looked like the Miller of old. The Americans went one-two in a World Cup giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Sunday. It marked the first time the U.S. put two men on a World Cup podium since Jan. 17, 2009. The world champion Ligety won in a two-run time of 2…
Dec 8, 2013, 1:52 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn improved for the second straight day in her first races in 10 months. The Olympic downhill champion placed fifth in a World Cup super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Sunday. Vonn skied the course in 1 minute, 23.71 seconds. Winner Lara Gut of Switzerland was .85 of a second faster. Vonn, in her first races since blowing…
Dec 8, 2013, 12:51 PM EST
American Heather Richardson and her fiance both won races on the final day of the World Cup speed skating stop in Berlin on Sunday. Richardson, the world sprint champion, won the 1000m in 1 minute, 14.51 seconds, .91 better than U.S. teammate Brittany Bowe. Russian Olga Fatkulina was third. Berlin marked the final World Cup before the Olympics, meaning it’s…
Dec 8, 2013, 12:15 PM EST
Erin Hamlin finished fifth in a World Cup luge race to secure her third Olympic berth on Saturday night. Hamlin, 27, of Remsen, N.Y., is the second USA Luger to clinch a spot in Sochi, joining now two-time Olympian Chris Mazdzer. Hamlin is now a three-time Olympian. The 2009 world champion finished 12th in Torino and 16th…
Dec 8, 2013, 12:08 PM EST
The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team is expected to be its largest in Winter Games history with more than 200 athletes. This list of athletes nominated to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team will be updated as national governing bodies announce their teams: Biathlon Lowell Bailey — @lowellcbailey Tim Burke — @tb_burke Susan Dunklee — @susandunklee Curling Erika…
Dec 8, 2013, 8:57 AM EST
One of Jesse Owens‘ four 1936 Berlin Olympics gold medals sold for the highest price ever for a piece of Olympic memorabilia on Sunday morning. The medal sold for $1,466,574, according to its listing on SCP Auctions. There were 30 bids in the auction that began Nov. 20. The bidding price was at $370,000 with about…
Dec 7, 2013, 4:28 PM EST
Steve Holcomb is four for four this season. The Olympic champion drove a four-man bobsled to victory in his hometown of Park City, Utah, on Saturday. Holcomb, with Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt, won with a two-run time of 1 minute, 34.76 seconds. Germany’s Max Arndt was second, .35 of a second back. Russian Aleksander Kasyanov was third. Holcomb, Arndt and…
Dec 7, 2013, 3:58 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn made major strides in less than 24 hours between her first two races since major knee surgery. The Olympic downhill champion finished 11th in a downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Saturday afternoon. On Friday, Vonn was 40th in another Lake Louise downhill, her first race since blowing out her right knee at the…
Dec 7, 2013, 3:38 PM EST
If Ted Ligety is going to be a multiple-medal threat in Sochi, he must produce strong results outside the giant slalom. He took a step in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Saturday, with his third top-five super-G finish over the last four World Cup seasons. Ligety navigated the Birds of Prey course in 1 minute, 22.21 seconds,…
Dec 7, 2013, 3:15 PM EST
U.S. Bobsled has been stellar to start the season, but it’s never been stronger than Saturday. The U.S. swept the medals in Park City, Utah. Elana Meyers and Aja Evans won in a two-run time of 1 minute, 38.61 seconds, followed by Jamie Greubel and Lolo Jones and Jazmine Fenlator and Lauryn Williams, who tied for silver in 1:39.24. It’s the first time since Feb.…
Dec 7, 2013, 1:01 PM EST
Aleksander Kaptarenko trained for the Olympic torch relay by carrying a frozen salmon. Kaptarenko, a 101-year-old table tennis player, became the oldest Olympic relay torchbearer on Saturday, according to R-Sport. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1912 and carried an Olympic torch in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk for 200 meters. Kaptarenko has…
Dec 7, 2013, 12:36 PM EST
India’s Olympic Association may no longer be recognized by the International Olympic Committee if it fails to comply with ”rules of good governance” by Tuesday, IOC president Thomas Bach told The Associated Press. India, currently under an IOC suspension, has “corruption-tainted officials” in its Olympic Association’s ranks, the AP reported. “It’s about the principles,” Bach told the AP.…
Dec 7, 2013, 12:36 PM EST
Two-time U.S. snowboardcross Olympian Nate Holland is in jeopardy of missing the Sochi Games after breaking a collarbone in training, the International Ski Federation (FIS) told NBCOlympics.com. Holland, 35, suffered the injury before the first World Cup snowboardcross event in Montafon, Austria, this weekend. Holland was considered a Sochi medal contender. He was 14th at the 2006…
Dec 7, 2013, 11:45 AM EST
Olympic and world champion Yuna Kim fell on her opening jump but still posted a total score beaten by only one other skater during the Grand Prix season at a minor event in Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday. The South Korean won the Golden Spin with 204.49 points, her first competition this season following a foot injury. Japan’s Mao…
Dec 7, 2013, 10:40 AM EST
U.S. speed skaters bagged two more medals on the penultimate day of the final World Cup before the Sochi Olympics on Saturday. Shani Davis and Heather Richardson won bronze in the 1000m and 500m, respectively. The Berlin World Cup concludes with a men’s 500m and 5000m and a women’s 1000m and team pursuit Sunday. It’s the final opportunity…
Dec 7, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
USA Luge put a men’s singles slider on a World Cup podium for the first time in nearly seven years on Friday night. 2010 Olympian Chris Mazdzer placed a career-best second in Whistler, B.C., the fourth of nine World Cup stops before the Sochi Olympics in February. Mazdzer was fourth after the first of two runs, behind…
Dec 7, 2013, 6:55 AM EST
Skating in a Grand Prix at home perhaps for the last time, Mao Asada claimed gold Saturday at the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan, the 23-year-old rising above an error-prone finish in the ladies’ free skate. Fifteen-year-old Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya skated cleanly to jump her way from fourth to second, claiming the silver medal.…
Dec 7, 2013, 5:12 AM EST
A world record to overcome and the Grand Prix Final gold medal on the line, American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White rose to the occasion Saturday in Fukuoka, Japan. Skating after rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir had delivered a brilliant free dance to give them a highest-ever overall score, 190.00, Davis/White were…
Dec 6, 2013, 9:06 PM EST
The U.S. Bobsled Team continued its golden start to the season, sweeping the two-woman and two-man World Cup races in Park City, Utah, on Friday. Olympic bronze medalist Elana Meyers and Olympic champion Steve Holcomb drove USA-1 sleds to victory at the 2002 Olympic track. Meyers, 29, notched her first career World Cup victory as a driver in her…
- Ted Ligety, Bode Miller go 1-2 in Beaver Creek giant slalom (video) 1
- Lindsey Vonn says she’s ready for Sochi after best comeback result (video) 1
- Jesse Owens’ gold medal goes for $1.4 million in auction 1
- Lindsey Vonn stronger in second comeback race (video) 3
- U.S. sweeps women’s bobsled in Park City (video) 3
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (54)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (45)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (29)
- Vladimir Putin tells critics of Russia at World University Games to ‘try some Viagra’ (18)
- IOC convinced there will be no discrimination at Sochi Olympics (16)