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A new crop of U.S. women’s gymnasts is ready to take on the world.

Jade Carey, Morgan Hurd, Ashton Locklear and Ragan Smith will represent the U.S. at this year’s world championships, which run through Oct. 8 in Montreal, and although only Locklear has experience at this level, senior vice president of the women’s program Rhonda Faehn said the team has responded well so far to everything that’s been put in front of them.

“It’s always fun and exciting to see the looks on their faces as they experience everything, especially the athletes who haven’t been to the world championships,” Faehn said. “And not only the athletes, but some of the coaches, because a lot of the coaches haven’t experienced this, so it’s a great learning experience for them as well.”

There is no team competition at this year’s world championships, only all-around and individual apparatus events. In choosing the team, Faehn said, the strategy was to select the athletes with the best opportunity to medal based on selection camps and performances. Three athletes per country can compete in the qualification round on Wednesday, while a maximum of only two per country can advance to the all-around or event finals later in the week.

Smith will lead the U.S. hopes in the all-around and is also a contender on floor and balance beam. The 17-year-old, who was an alternate for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, was crowned the U.S. all-around champion in August and also won the floor exercise and balance beam.

 

 

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