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Laurie Hernandez (Robert Hanashiro/Reuters)

Laurie Hernandez (Robert Hanashiro/Reuters)


Rio de Janiero, BRAZIL- USA Gymnastics announced Saturday its lineups for event qualifications on Sunday, leaving Laurie Hernandez out of qualifying for the all-around final, but still slotting her in for three of the four events.

The move means that defending world champion Simone Biles, team captain Aly Raisman, and defending Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will be competing for the all-around final, as the United States can only send three women to qualify for the final. If all three are in the top eight of qualifying, only the top two will be taken to go to the final.

This comes as a mild surprise, after Douglas had performed poorly in the last two major competitions, the U.S. Olympic Trials and the P&G Championships. Old Bridge native Laurie Hernandez had finished second and third, respectively, in the all-around in those two competitions, setting herself up as one of the top all-around gymnasts in the nation, and in prime position to supplant Douglas in the all-around.

Despite those recent performances, the national team, headed by coordinator Martha Karolyi, decided to go with Douglas, who will be competing in her second Olympics. While there could have been more developments during the team’s final training camp before they headed for Rio, based on recent performances, Hernandez seems much more in shape than Douglas. However, it appears that Karolyi and company will take more stock in Olympic performances, with Douglas taking home the all-around gold in London four years ago, than more recent information.

Hernandez was still named to compete in three of the four apparatus, with only uneven bars missing from her docket of the floor, the vault, and the balance beam. That will give her the chance to compete for three individual medals, while still competing for the United States in the team event.  The floor could be her best chance, but having teammates Raisman and Biles in front of her in that event could hurt her, as all apparatus’ finals can only have two from each nation.

The United States will compete in the fourth of five subdivisions on Sunday, starting at 5:30 P.M. at the Rio Olympic Arena. The top eight nations will qualify for the final. They are the bona fide favorites to win team gold after taking it home in London four years ago.

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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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