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US women's gymnastics team so deep, leaving Morgan Hurd home for world championships  3 Weeks ago

Source:   USA Today  

In an indication of how deep the U.S. women are, they’re leaving one of the world’s best gymnasts home from next month’s world championships.

Morgan Hurd, who won the all-around title at the 2017 world championships and was the bronze medalist last year, was not on the six-woman team announced Monday. She was chosen as a non-traveling alternate, instead.

The world championships are Oct. 4-13 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Simone Biles won the all-around Sunday at the two-day selection camp, claiming the one automatic spot. That was to be expected, considering Biles is the reigning Olympic and world champion and hasn’t lost an all-around competition since 2013.

That left five spots, and the selection committee went in rank order from Sunday’s all-around with Sunisa Lee, Jade Carey, Kara Eaker, Grace McCallum and MyKayla Skinner. All six gymnasts will travel to Stuttgart, and national team coordinator Tom Forster will designate one as an alternate the day before qualifying.

Hurd has had a rough summer, struggling at the Pan-American Games and again in the all-around at the selection camp. Still, her omission was a surprise given she’s one of the best the United States has on uneven bars, and the selection committee is allowed to take potential team scores into account.

Four gymnasts compete on each event in preliminaries, with the lowest score dropped. In team finals, however, countries put up three gymnasts on each event, with all three scores counting. That means countries want teams that can deliver the highest possible score on each event, and provide protection in case someone gets hurt.

Biles won the silver medal on uneven bars – her “worst” event -- at last year’s worlds, and Lee won the bars title at the national championships. McCallum (sixth) and Skinner (ninth) were the only other world team members in the top 10 on uneven bars at nationals, while Hurd was second.

But Carey and Skinner contribute much higher scores on vault and floor exercise. Given that Biles is the world and Olympic champion on both of those events, the Americans have to figure their scores on those two events alone will be enough to give them an insurmountable lead over Russia and China.

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