Although the World Championships is usually the most important event in the gymnastics calendar, the stakes couldn't be higher at this year's event; as the competition will serve as the first of two qualification events to the Rio Olympic Games next summer. With this in mind, it is paramount that all National team programs put in their top performances at the event. This article should introduce you to the USA Gymnastics women's gymnastics squad (if you weren't already familiar with them) as well as the various individuals competing at the competition for their own nations, but who train and live in the States.
THE USA TEAM
Gabrielle Douglas - Tarzana, Calif. (Buckeye)
Brenna Dowell - Odessa, Mo. (GAGE)
Madison Kocian - Dallas, Tex. (WOGA)
Maggie Nichols - Little Canada, Minn. (TCT)
Aly Raisman - Needham, Mass. (Brestyan's)
Alt: MyKayla Skinner - Gilbert, Ariz. (Desert Lights)
The team is led by leading lady Simone Biles, who has really proven herself as the most superior female gymnast in the world at the moment. I cannot imagine that she will be hindered in claming her third individual World title! Veteran team members, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas have really stamped their marks back into this team, and will battle it out for that coveted second all-around berth. Douglas, the 2012 Olympic AA Champion, dipped a little bit at Nationals but presents handsome start values across the board. On the other hand, Raisman is the eldest member of the team at 21 years old. Although she tends to struggle with bars, she can usually easily make up for loss ground on the floor exercise, where she was National champion this year! The 2012 Olympic Floor Champion has a knockout routine jam-packed full of breathtaking tumbling passes - able to score in the in the mid 15s region.
Next, we introduce Maggie Nichols. The 18 year old will go up on every event expect uneven bars. A phenom vaulter with a very accomplished Amanar, Nichols really could provide stability for the team on any event she is needed on in Team Finals. Introducing the fifth member, Oklahoma Sooners gymnast and fan favorite, Brenna Dowell. After an outstanding Freshman season with the Sooners, she announced that she would be deferring for the 2015-16 school year; in order to pursue elite gymnastics again. An alternate for the 2013 Worlds team, Dowell made sure she wasn't left on the bench again this year and will go up for the team on Vault, Bars and Floor. She really shines on Bars, so if you're wanting to see her in Team Finals, it will probably be there! Our final member is WOGA gymnast, Madison Kocian. The 18-year old UCLA commit was a member of last year's Worlds team and finds herself on the roster for a second time. Fielded on both Bars and Beam, Kocian has exquisite lines on Bars and can command scores in the mid 15s on that event. With the absence of last year's bars finalist Ashton Locklear on the team, could Kocian capture her first event final call up? The team is rounded off by alternate MyKayla Skinner. Although she is not scheduled to compete, Skinner will serve as a huge bonus to the team; should anyone be rendered injured.
The U.S. team will start on Floor Exercise in Subdivision 10 - competing against the Dutch team and two Mixed Groups. You can stay tuned through USA Gymnastics.
THE JAMAICAN TEAM
Maya Williams - Randallstown, Md. (United) - BB only!
Toni-Ann Williams - Randallstown, Md. (United) (Cal-Berkeley)
Francis posses the most international experience, which stems from two World Championship performances for Britain (2010 & 11). Obviously, Williams has her senior debut 2011 Worlds experience but, she also has experience from the 2013 Worlds in Antwerp, Belgium. Rounding off the team is 16-year old Maya Williams - who, as previously mentioned, is Toni-Ann's younger sister. Despite having no international experience, Maya has been a Level 10 gymnast for four years and is most likely using the competition as a experience builder. However, it is known that she will only do balance beam at this event. The team is led by Toni-Ann's Cal Bears head coach, Justin Howell. For Danusia and Toni-Ann, it will likely be a head-to-head for the Jamaican qualification spot.
The Jamaican women will go in the final subdivision on October 24 - competing against the Swiss and Hungarian programs, as well as the Czech, Armenian, Honduras and South African gymnasts.
BRITTANY ROGERS (CANADA)
At present, she looks poised to make the vault final, and time will tell whether she can earn a place in the bars final. Stay tuned to find out the final result!
THE BAHAMIAN INDIVIDUALS
It is fair to say that the chances of Dean or Hall qualifying to the Olympics are rather small but, regardless, it is so lovely to hear two very empowering and motivational stories from people who are determined to not give up in sports. The pair will be competing in the sixth Subdivision on the first night: Friday, October 23, 2015.
PAULA MEJIAS (PUERTO RICO)
Mejias competed on Friday, October 23 in Subdivsion 5. She is currently placed 44th in the all-around, however this is provisional - results will be posted when available.
ISABELLA AMADO (PANAMA)
Amado has already completed her competition at this Championships; competing in the first session with Romania and Spain. After a competent performance, she is currently 44th in the all-around standings but that wiill change! Stay tuned.
GIULIANNA PINO (ECUADOR)
Giulianna has already competed at these Championships; where she competed in the second session with Austria and Japan. At present, she is sat in 51st place in the all-around standings. However, this is not final! Stay tuned.
tHEMA WIILLIAMS (TTO)
Thema has already completed her competition in Glasgow - where she competed in Subdivision 4 on Friday; competing with the Great Britain and Brazil teams. She currently sits in 23rd place, but this will change. Updated results to follow.
AVA VERDEFLOR (PHILIPPINES)
Last year, Verdeflor made it to the second Youth Olympic Games in China - where she was able to advance to the Uneven Bars final. Additionally, in the fall of 2014, Verdeflor accepted a full-ride athletic scholarship to the Penn State Nittany Lions gymnastics program for the 2017-18 season.
Verdeflor has already completed her competition at these Championships - where she competed in Subdivision 4 with the Great Britain and Brazil teams. She currently sits in 39th position but this will change. We shall inform you with the final results when they're available!
JESSICA LOPEZ (VENEZUELA)
Lopez has already competed at this Championship - competing in Subdvision 4 on Friday with the Great Britain and Brazil teams. She sits in thirteenth place but this is not definite!
ALMA KUC (POLAND)
She made her senior debut for Poland at the 2014 Europeans in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was then named to the Polish team for last year's Worlds in Nanning. Listing her main goal as reaching the Olympics next year, Kuc has also verbally committed to the University of California-Berkeley on an athletic scholarship for the 2017-18 season.
Kuc will compete in Subdvision 6 on Friday, October 23 - with the rest of the Polish team where they'll be against the German team.
SIMONA CASTRO (CHILE)
Castro will compete on Saturday, October 24 in Subdvision 7 - competing with the North Korean and Chinese teams.
THE BELARUS INDIVIDUALS
Both girls seem very eager to compete, and placed well at this year's past Secret Classic, and hope to eventually represent the country at the Olympics next year. I don't want to be too vocal with my opinion but I have to say - I am not a fan!
Whether you like it or not, the duo will go in Subdivision 9 on Saturday, October 24 - competing with the French and Australian teams.
ARIANA ORREGO (PERU)
She is coming of a second place finish at the Virginia State Championships this year, for Level 10. To watch Orrego, she will go for Peru in Subdivision 9 on Saturday, October 24.
HOURY GEBESHIAN (ARMENIA)
Gebeshian will compete on Saturday, October 24, in the final Subdvision 12.
KAISA CHIRINOS (HONDURAS)
Kaisa will compete on Saturday, October 24, in the final Subdivision 12 with Houry Gebeshian.
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