Women’s gymnastics qualifications: Two-per-country rule leads to all-around battle

Two-per-country rule leads to all-around battle in gymnastics

Gabby Douglas at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Before the U.S. women can collect the heapfuls of medals that they’re expected to win, they need to do well enough in the qualifications round to advance to the team, all-around and event finals.

Shouldn’t be a problem, if the 20 flawless routines in podium training are a preview of what to expect from the reigning world and Olympic champion team.

Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez will compete in subdivision 4 at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 7 in the women’s qualifications round.

They will begin on vault, and rotate through to uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. The line-up is:

Vault: Hernandez, Douglas, Raisman, Biles
Uneven bars: Raisman, Biles, Douglas, Kocian
Balance beam: Douglas, Raisman, Hernandez, Biles
Floor exercise: Douglas, Hernandez, Biles, Raisman

Biles, Douglas and Raisman will compete on all four events and be eligible for the all-around, but only the top two will advance to the final. In an Olympic individual final, only two athletes per country are allowed to qualify. So even if Biles, Douglas and Raisman earn the three highest combined scores tomorrow, and it’s not unlikely that they will, just the top two will get a chance to fight for the most coveted medal in gymnastics.

Kocian is the world co-champion on uneven bars and is expected to qualify for the final. Hernandez should be a contender on balance beam and possibly floor, although she’ll face stiff competition from her teammates—again, due to the two-per-country rule.

Women’s gymnastics qualifications will begin at 8:45 a.m. ET with Subdivision 1 and 2, which will be combined into one livestream. The teams competing in subdivision 1 will be Belgium and China, plus individual athletes from Australia, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Jamaica and more.

In subdivision 2, groups from Italy and Russia will compete with individual gymnasts from countries like Belarus, Armenia, Romania and Switzerland.

Great Britain, Brazil and Germany are the teams in subdivision 3, which begins at 1:30 p.m. ET. The individual gymnasts are representing countries like Slovakia, Sweden, India and Vietnam.

With an unbeatable pedigree, the U.S. women will be the center of attention in subdivsion 4 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The Netherlands team, a surprise qualifier to the team final at the 2015 World Championships, and gymnasts form New Zealand, Venezuela and Greece will also be in subdivision 4.

Olympic gymnasts Jonathan Horton and Courtney Kupets Carter will be providing analysis and commentary on subdivision 4. Immediately following the end of the U.S. women’s qualifications, Horton and Kupets Carter will join host Tanith Belbin for the Daily Dismount recap show.

Day 1 of The Daily Dismount, covering the men’s qualifications, can be watched in full here.

Qualifications wrap up with subdivision 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET, featuring Team Japan, France and Canada plus individual gymnasts from Mexico, Cuba and Ukraine.

Each livestream will be broken up into four apparatus feeds, each one focusing on balance beam, vault, floor or uneven bars. The full list of livestreams can be found on the gymnastics schedule page.

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