Brazil hope for historic world gymnastics champs medal clouded by pain

Rebecca Andrade, Flavia Saraiva Brazil’s women’s gymnastics team should be a feel-good story at this week’s world championships. They may be there, but some of that promise was replaced by pain in qualifying on Sunday.

Saraiva, who has been struggling with ankle problems since the Tokyo Olympics, suffered another ankle injury in Liverpool, England on Sunday and sought help. She qualified on the uneven bars and was in one shoe in the media mix zone. According to Olympics.com..

She was receiving treatment in Liverpool on Monday afternoon, the Brazilian Gymnastics Federation said. Her status for Tuesday evening’s team final (Peacock, 2:15 p.m. ET) is unknown, but she is listed to compete in all four devices.

Brazil qualified for the finals in third place behind silver medalists USA and Great Britain from the Tokyo Games. Scores reset for finals. Russian athletes who won Olympic gold have been banned from these worlds because of the war in Ukraine.

Olympic or world championship medals have been won by over 300 gymnastics teams of all time. But in nearly 120 years of global competition, the United States is the only Western Hemisphere nation to have both men’s and women’s teams reach the podium.

The Brazilian women, who did not win a medal in any event in Olympic gymnastics until last year and did not field a full team for the Tokyo Games, could change that. They came to light after the program revealed that the Olympic team had disappeared.

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In July, Brazil beat the US B team at the Pan American Championships in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil’s squad is the same as its quintet at this week’s World Cup. He relied heavily on Andrade and Saraiva (for seven of his 12 routines in the finals). The US team at the Pan Ams included a woman who went on to make its world championship team (Skye Blakely) but none of his leading companions in the world (Shilese Jones, Jade Kerry, Jordan Chile) yet Brazil’s decisive victory (1.999 points) was a shock.

“The Pan Am title is a testament to their work,” he said. Marcos GuerraProducer for Brazilian TV channel Globo. “The girls saw that they really had a shot at winning a team medal. [at worlds] for the first time.”

Andrade, the Olympic silver medalist, and Saraiva, an immature talent toughened by past injury problems, are expected to feature in Tuesday’s five-woman final.

In the qualifiers, Four gymnasts from each of the five teams were selected for each of the four machines, with the best three scores for a total of 12 points. Andrade and Saraiva were used in each device. All eight of their scores count. Andrade, known for her individual Olympic success, is favored to win Brazil’s first world title on Thursday.

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If Andrade of the team, MataSo Saraiva. Christian. If Saraiva’s scores had been replaced by a fourth Brazilian in each machine, Brazil would not have qualified for the eight-team final.

Andrade and Saraiva, who were born four months apart in 1999, are said to have trained together in Rio for the past several decades. Gabriel gentileA Brazilian sports journalist.

“We’ve been a family since we were kids,” Saraiva said, not just Andrade, but a large national team of gymnasts. The International Gymnastics Federation said this summer, citing Olympics.com. “I am with them. I spend more time with them than with my own family.”

Andrade is originally from outside Sao Paulo, where she and seven siblings were raised by their mother as a house cleaner before leaving home at age 8 to pursue gymnastics.

A 13-year-old Pan American junior champion, she was plagued by injuries afterward. A broken big toe kept her out of the 2014 Youth Olympics. Three right ACL tears in 2015; In 2017 and 2019, she was withdrawn from the world championships. She competed at the 2016 Rio Games and became known as Rebeyoncé when she returned home after performing Beyoncé music in the floor exercise.

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Andrade, healthy in Tokyo, became the first Brazilian female gymnast to win an Olympic medal. Suni Lee. If she goes unchallenged twice on her indoor floor, it will be gold. Three days later, Andrade won Brazil’s first Olympic gymnastics gold medal.

“This medal is not just for me. One for everyone who knows my story,” Andrade, who has four million followers between Instagram and TikTok, said in Tokyo.

Saraiva was listed at 4 feet 5 inches in her Olympic debut in Rio at the age of 16 (she was fifth). Carioca was developed in a Rio government-sponsored program for low-income children.

“Flavinha” or Flavia missed the 2017 World Cup after injuring her spine. She was fourth in the world championships between 2018 and 2019. fifth Sixth She finished seventh and eighth individually, making Brazil’s bid to compete in the first Olympic women’s gymnastics competition.

But an ankle injury at the Olympics sidelined her altogether. She celebrated Andrade’s silver instead. He returned on the final day of competition and was seventh on beam, and underwent surgery later that month.

“We keep fighting,” Saraiva posted in Portuguese on Instagram after suffering an ankle injury last year.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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