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World Championships Overview

By: Mary Fay Carr

09/20/2017

As the World championships near, the question of who will represent Team USA in Montréal,  Québec, Canada has finally been answered, as USA Gymnastics announced that the four athletes selected to compete are Ragan Smith, Jade Carey, Morgan Hurd, and Ashton Locklear.  

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Ragan Smith-

Being a 2016 Olympic team alternate and having dominated the competition field throughout 2017, Ragan Smith has been a favorite for the Worlds team for quite some time now. At the beginning of this year Smith came out with great determination and a big win at the American Cup, where she won the all-around title. Following this win, Smith debuted an upgraded bars routine at the U.S. Classic, which allowed her to place first on the event. To continue the streak, Smith came out strong at nationals with a new crowd pleasing floor routine, which helped her to clinch the all-around gold. Smith has great potential to medal in the all-around final in Montréal, as well as in the beam and floor finals.  

Jade Carey-

Having vaulted her way into the elite scene earlier this year, previous level 10 gymnast, Jade Carey, is essential to Team USA as a vault specialist. Carey quickly became one to watch this year, as she was the only gymnast to compete two vaults at the P&G championships, thus making her eligible to compete in the event final at Worlds. While Carey’s two vaults, an Amanar and a Kaz full, need some cleaning up, her potential on this event as well as on floor is what landed her a spot on the team. Carey’s impressive tumbling, which includes a double-double and a full-twisting double layout, is world class and could contend for a medal at the World championships.

Morgan Hurd-

Morgan Hurd, an all-around competitor and first year senior, came out strong in 2017, however, has struggled with inconsistency throughout the season. Hurd competed internationally in Germany at the 2017 Stuttgart World Cup and in Italy at the City of Jesolo Trophy, but struggled to stay consistent at other competitions like the U.S. Classic. Despite consistency issues at nationals, Hurd is a fan favorite on floor, where she displays her excellent power and artistry. With improved consistency, Hurd will be a strong contender for an all-around medal at Worlds.

Ashton Locklear-  

Ashton Locklear is known for her gorgeous lines and execution on uneven bars, which allowed her to land a spot as an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team. Locklear will serve as a leader on the team, as she is the only gymnast on the team that has competed at a World championships in the past. In 2014, Locklear competed at Worlds in Nanning, China, and won the team gold medal as well as placing fourth in the uneven bars event final.  Prior to the 2016 Olympic Games, Locklear took time off from the sport to rest her body and tour the country on the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Coming back from taking time off has been a long process and she has yet to regain her full difficulty on bars, which makes some question her ability to medal at Worlds. However, once Locklear adds her inbar skills back into her routine, the combination of her unmatched execution and higher difficulty will put her into contention for a medal on the event.  

Jordan Chiles (alternate)-

Jordan Chiles, having struggled with injuries and coaching changes throughout 2016 and 2017, was a fan favorite when she returned to the scene at the P&G Championships last month. Chiles was one of many contenders for the second all-around spot on the Worlds team, as she is strong on all four events, including vault, where she was said to be training both and Amanar and a Lopez. Chiles will serve as the non-travelling alternate on the team, meaning she will not be travelling to Montréal unless necessary.

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