Women's artistic gymnastics kicked off Sunday at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with the world's best gymnasts vying to qualify for the finals in the team, all-around and individual discipline events.
Four years after taking team gold in London, much of the anticipation entering the qualifying round focused on Team USA, led by three-time defending all-around world champion Simone Biles, 2012 Olympic all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas and multitime Olympic medalist Aly Raisman.
Here is a rundown of the top finishers during each of Sunday's subdivisions with updated results available at the conclusion of each.
Full scoring information for every competing gymnast and nation is available at Rio2016.com.
|Artistic Gymnastics Qualification—Subdivision 1|
|Vault||Un Jong Hong||PRK||15.683|
|Uneven Bars||Chunsong Shang||CHN||15.300|
|Balance Beam||Yilin Fan||CHN||14.866|
|Floor Exercise||Yan Wang||CHN||14.666|
|Artistic Gymnastics Qualification—Subdivision 2|
|Uneven Bars||Aliya Mustafina||RUS||15.833|
|Balance Beam||Catalina Ponor||ROU||14.900|
|Floor Exercise||Vanessa Ferrari||ITA||14.866|
|Artistic Gymnastics Qualification—Subdivision 3|
|Uneven Bars||Elisabeth Seitz||GER||15.466|
|Balance Beam||Flavia Saraiva||BRA||15.133|
|Floor Exercise||Amy Tinkler||GBR||14.600|
|Artistic Gymnastics Qualification—Subdivision 4|
|Uneven Bars||Madison Kocian||USA||15.866|
|Balance Beam||Simone Biles||USA||15.633|
|Floor Exercise||Simone Biles||USA||15.733|
|Artistic Gymnastics Qualification—Subdivision 5|
|Uneven Bars||Asuka Teramoto||JPN||14.900|
|Balance Beam||Marine Boyer||FRA||14.600|
|Floor Exercise||Mai Murakami||JPN||14.566|
Once its turn during Subdivision 4 came around, Team USA more than fulfilled expectations. The United States moved into first place with a team score of 185.238.
Biles, Raisman and Douglas occupied the top three spots in the all-around. As USA Gymnastics noted, though, Douglas won't be going through to the all-around final since one country can only have two representatives.
Jordan Burroughs, who won gold in wrestling at the 2012 Olympics, wasn't surprised to see Team USA in first place:
2012 gold medalist Jordyn Wieber was happy to see a new generation of U.S. gymnastics carrying the torch:
Biles in particular was excellent. She nearly swept the qualifying subdivision, with the uneven bars the only apparatus in which she didn't place first. CBSSports.com's Zach Harper was inspired by the 19-year-old:
With Biles struggling in the uneven bars, Madison Kocian used the opportunity to set the pace for the rest of the field. Kocian was one of four gymnasts to win gold at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and her score of 15.866 was enough to move her ahead of Russia's Aliya Mustafina, who won gold in the uneven bars in 2012.
Anything can happen in the final, but Team USA is looking in good shape to repeat its first-place finish in the team all-around competition, and Biles is in a class by herself and the strong front-runner to win the individual all-around.
After failing to medal as a team at the 2012 London Olympics, China got its 2016 Summer Games off to a strong start in Subdivision 1 by finishing first in all but one discipline.
The Chinese beat out Belgium in team qualifying, while Yan Wang and Chunsong Shang were first and second, respectively, in the individual all-around after the first group of the day.
Wang was especially impressive, which took Lauren Hopkins of NBC Olympics by surprise considering the 16-year-old finished a disappointing fourth in the all-around at the Chinese Nationals this year:
The only gymnast who prevented China from having a perfect qualifying subdivision was North Korea's Un Jong Hong, who dominated the vault with a score of 15.683.
She took gold in that event at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, and as pointed out by NBC's Samantha Peszek, her vault in qualifications wowed those in attendance:
Ellis O'Reilly made history by becoming the first-ever Irish female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, but she experienced a scary moment on the balance beam.
As reported by GymCastic, the 18-year-old landed awkwardly on her dismount:
O'Reilly appeared to be fine following the incident, but she finished last on the beam with a score of just 10.700.
China was undoubtedly the story of Subdivision 1, though, and if its performance is any indication, it has a strong chance to get back to the podium after taking team gold over the United States in 2008.
Several gold-medal contenders performed well during the second subdivision of the day, including several Russians who figure to be factors when the hardware is on the line.
Mustafina and Seda Tutkhalian finished first and second in the all-around qualifying for their group, which surprisingly knocked fellow Russian Angelina Melnikova out of contention.
While Melnikova won gold in the all-around at the Russian Cup and Russian National Championships this year, she did not reach the Olympic final since no country can have more than two representatives.
Mustafina won all-around bronze in 2012, and although she put herself in great position to qualify, she had her fair share of issues Sunday.
She was just 20th in the balance beam after two subdivisions and eighth in the floor exercise.
Peszek pointed out that Mustafina didn't appear to be in particularly good spirits:
She did take first in the uneven bars, however, which is an event she won gold in at the 2012 Summer Games.
Italy's Vanessa Ferrari has yet to win an Olympic medal, but she has often been on the precipice in two previous appearances.
Ferrari had the best floor routine after two subdivisions, and Peszek was quite impressed by the 25-year-old's effort:
Italy's team performance wasn't particularly strong overall, however, and it may be hard-pressed to reach the podium.
Russia won silver in the team event at the London Olympics, but with China performing better in qualifying and the United States looking like the team to beat, the Russians could be in for a battle to secure a medal.
While the first two subdivisions brought plenty of exciting moments in Rio, the atmosphere reached an entirely different level in Subdivision 3 when host Brazil took the floor and turned in a shockingly good showing.
Rebeca Andrade led the way, as the 17-year-old surged to the lead in all-around qualification past a strong group of Russian and Chinese gymnasts.
According to Peszek, Andrade's amazing performance gives Brazil a ton of confidence entering the medal rounds:
Andrade was far from alone, though, as teammate Flavia Saraiva stirred the crowd into a frenzy in her own right.
The 16-year-old won bronze in the all-around at the Pan American Games last year and gold in the balance beam at the 2016 World Cup.
Saraiva's balance beam dominance continued Sunday, as she surpassed Romania's Catalina Ponor by more than two-tenths of a point to seize the top spot in the discipline.
Former United States Olympic gymnast Amanda Borden loved what she saw from Saraiva on one of the most pressure-packed apparatuses:
Brazil has never won an Olympic medal in women's gymnastics, but both Andrade and Saraiva established themselves as legitimate contenders.
While there are bigger names and more accomplished gymnasts in the field, the fact that the crowd will be firmly behind them could help the Brazilian duo make history in Rio de Janeiro.
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