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Laurie Hernandez, Team USA, Dominate Women’s Gymnastics Qualifiers

Laurie Hernandez (USA) of USA competes on the floor during the women's qualifications.  (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)

Laurie Hernandez (USA) of USA competes on the floor during the women’s qualifications. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)


A day after being snubbed for selection in the all-around, Laurie Hernandez of Old Bridge was a part of U.S. domination in the women’s gymnastics qualification, which saw them finish first.

Hernandez of Old Bridge participated in three of the four apparatuses, making her just shy of participating in the all-around qualifying, and didn’t show any of the nerves that many expected. After being snubbed of participating in the all-around in favor of defending Olympic gold-medalist Gabby Douglas, many speculated that she showed nerves during Team USA’s pre-Olympic practices at the Karolyi ranch.

However, she showed no such nerves, finishing fourth on the floor, and second only to Simone Biles on the balance beam. Her great performance on the beam will allow her to compete in the individual event later on in the games. Since she finished behind teammates Biles and Aly Raisman in the floor, however, she won’t qualify for the final in that event, as only two athletes per nation will qualify.

She was part of an utter domination by the American women, who made barely any mistakes, as they qualified in first place, by an unheard of margin of almost ten points over China, the second place team. In the individual all-around, the United States finished with the top three qualifiers, with Biles, Raisman and Douglas being the top women, but Douglas can’t go, with the two per country rule applying there as well.

The finish is reminiscent of the London qualifiers, when Douglas and Rasiman edged teammate and then-defending world champion Jordyn Wieber, who had finished fourth overall in the qualifying. The rule was instilled back when the Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries were dominating, but recently it has punished the Americans severely, who could very easily sweep the medals in most events given the opportunity.

Biles, who is considered to be one of the best gymnasts of all-time, qualified for the vault, balance beam, and floor as well, giving her a chance at five total golds in the Olympics. Douglas made the uneven bars final, along with teammate and defending world champion Madison Kocian. Raisman will try to defend her 2012 gold in the floor exercise.

Team USA is the presumptive favorite in the team final, which will take place on August 9th, with all of the other nations hoping to knock them down. They have obliterated expectations so far, but in the final, all scores are eliminated, so they will need to do it yet again in the final.


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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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