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Session II: Deng Takes Over Top All-Around Spot
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

IG Editor Dwight Normile is blogging from the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships at the O2 Arena in London, where the women's competition began Wednesday.

China's Deng Linlin took over the top spot in the all-around rankings (56.350), and led the field on beam and floor, too. This subdivision, the second of five, included Americans Ivana Hong and Kayla Williams, both of whom put themselves in strong position to make at least one final. Williams topped the vault standings and sat in second on floor, while Hong ranked second on beam. No other all-around gymnast in this session affected the top spots.

Deng Linlin (CHN): Clean bars with elgrip Endos and a Jaeger from elgrip and later a Tkatchev. She had to pike around her full-twisting double layout, but overall, it was an exellent set. Deng was cruising on beam until a front aerial left her struggling to stay on. That delay and a few other balance checks caused her to go overtime on her double pike dismount (14.45, 6.4 D-score). Deng mounted floor with a double Arabian and followed with a tucked full-in. Third pass of front step-out through to a 2.5 twist, and a stuck double pike dismount. The crowd loved her. It took the judges a long time to flash her score of 14.00. Deng finished on vault with a clean Yurchenko-1.5 with one step. Her 14.075 gave her an all-around total of 56.350.

Kim Bui (GER): Dynamic gymnast. Strong start on beam and floor, with powerful tumbling (full-in mount).

Rebecca Wing (GBR): Thunderous applause for Wing, first gymnast up on floor. Opened with double Arabian and hit fairly well.

Shona Morgan (AUS): Nervous start on beam, with falls on a switch side leap and a side aerial. Later, she got hurt during the vault warm-ups. She was carried off on a stretcher with her left knee wrapped.

Kyoko Oshima (JPN): Triple twist mount and a crashed punch barani to her belly for a second pass. Oshima missed a Jaeger from elgrip on bars in the third rotation.

Ivana Hong (USA): She began well on bars but came up short on a toe-on pirouette and had to improvise with a couple of extra swings and turns. Perhaps that sapped her energy, because she had to stagger forward and put her hands down on her double layout dismount. Hong seemed determined to hit beam, and she did so with measured aggression (14.40, 5.9 D-score).

Valeria Maksyuta (ISR): Fell three times from beam in the opening rotation, but the Ukrainian native came back with a solid floor routine with expressive choreography. She did, however, step out of bounds on her last two passes (tucked and piked double backs).

Alina Kozich (UZB): The former European all-around champ for Ukraine, Kozich is competing for Uzbekistan. She mounted beam with a gorgeous step-on immediate 180-degree Arabesque and later did an Onodi to side somi. Perhaps out of shape, she didn't come close to completing her roundoff double tuck dismount, which lacked both height and rotation. After a steady start on floor, she couldn't finish her 2.5 twist dismount and put her hand down out of bounds.

Kayla Williams (USA): Strong double layout mount on floor, but slightly over-rotated on her 1.5 twist through to double pike. Easy triple twist third pass, and she nailed a piked full-in dismount. An amazing effort in her first world championships, considering she was a Level 10 earlier this year (13.90, 5.6 D-score). On vault, Williams did a handspring-layout rudi (14.825) and a double-twisting Yurchenko (14.80), which placed her first on vault.

Rebecca Wing (GBR): Crowd favorite for sure. A strong start on floor, a Yurchenko-1.5 on vault and a clean Tkatchev to Pak and Maloney on bars. With the entire audience glued to her every move, Wing mounted beam with a smooth roundoff layout-on. She combined a front aerial to flip-flop layout and a switch leap to back tuck. After her flip-flop flip-flop 2.5 twist landed without a fall, the O2 Arena erupted.

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