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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Champions Struggle to Qualify

BRISBANE, Australia -- Defending all-around champions Vitaly Shcherbo and Shannon Miller both had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the world gymnastic championships.


Shcherbo, 22, winner of six gold medals at the 1992 Olympics, was the leading qualifier for the final of the men's floor exercises, but was eliminated from the pommel horse event when he slipped and fell from the apparatus. The Belarussian stormed angrily from the arena after making the error and finishing 32nd.


Miller, 17, who won three gold medals at last year's world championship in Birmingham, England, was the fourth qualifier for the vault, but was only ninth in the uneven bars event, in which she was defending champion. Miller will not even be a reserve for the eight-competitor final because two other Americans qualified and a nation is only allowed two competitors in any final.


Shcherbo was in fine form during the floor exercise, scoring 9.637. Ivan Ivanov of Bulgaria scored 9.587 and Igor Korobchinski of Ukraine and Ioannis Melissandis of Greece tied at 9.575.


Shcherbo did not contest the rings, one of his gold medal winning events in Barcelona.


Yuri Chechi of Italy, the defending world champion, headed qualifiers for the ring event with 9.712 points, ahead of Dan Burinca of Romania with 9.687 and Andreas Wecker of Germany and American Paul O'Neill with 9.625 each.


Marius Urzica of Romania, American Mark Sohn and Vitaly Marinich of Ukraine were the leading qualifiers in the pommel horse, tying at 9.662 points.


On the uneven bars, Miller unveiled a new move -- a 1 1/2 twisting three-quarter giant swing to a handstand on the low bar -- but was let down by a poor landing.


"I had a little problem with the bar routine, but hopefully I'll get it fixed for the all-around," Miller said. Lu Li of China scored 9.900 and headed qualifiers in the uneven bars, ahead of Lavinia Milosovici of Romania with 9.825 and Svetlana Chorkina of Russia with 9.812.


Almost 300 gymnasts from 53 countries are competing in the six-day championships, which continue through Sunday.