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Johnson leads women’s all-around at 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics

June 21, 2008, 10:54 a.m. (ET)

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., June 20, 2008 - 2007 all-around world champion Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, leads the all-around after the first day of the women's competition at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics, held at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The men's competition concludes today at 3 p.m. ET, and the women wrap up on Sunday, June 22, at 6 p.m.

Johnson finished with a total score of 64.000, followed by 2007 balance beam world champion Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, in second at 63.500. 2005 all-around world champion Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis., was third with a 62.250.

"I definitely don't feel I'm at my peak," Johnson said. "I have a ways to go, but we're on the right path. I don't believe that I'm even here. Pinch me; it's a dream."

With a score of 16.100 for her floor exercise routine that included a double-twisting double back, Johnson moved into first place after three rotations with a score of 48.050. Her final event was vault, and Johnson retained her lead with her 15.950 on her Yurchenko two-and-a-half vault.

Johnson earned the night's highest scores on three events. Her 15.950 on vault edged past Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., by just 0.050 points. Johnson also posted the top scores on balance beam with 16.250, and on floor exercise with 16.100.

Liukin's 16.700 on uneven bars was the highest score of the evening. She finished second on both balance beam and floor exercise with scores of 16.100 and 15.700, respectively. On vault, she posted a 15.000.

"There are definitely things to improve on," Liukin said. "Even if I have the best meet of my life, I still have things I want to improve on. I get that from my dad because he's a perfectionist."

Halfway through the competition, Memmel led the field with a two-event score of 32.150, but dropped to third after the third rotation. She began the day on uneven bars with a 16.150, the second highest of the night. She also earned a 16.000 on balance beam, a 15.300 on floor exercise and a 14.800 on vault.

"I definitely don't want to get ahead of myself," Memmel said. "I'm thrilled with how things are going right now, but I can't lose focus."

Rounding out the top five in the all-around were Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind., in fourth and Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo., in fifth, with scores of 61.850 and 60.850, respectively. Peszek tied for third on vault and placed third on floor exercise.

The top two all-around competitors at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics (combined rank order after two days of competition) automatically qualify for the Olympic Team. The balance of the Olympic Team will be named at the conclusion of a Final Selection Camp scheduled for July 16-20.

Tickets are still available for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics, and may be purchased online at ComcastTIX.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or at the Wachovia Center Box Office. Visa is the only card accepted for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics.

Past sites for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics are: 2004, Anaheim, Calif.; 1996 and 2000, Boston; 1992, Baltimore, Md.; 1988, Salt Lake City, Utah; and 1980 and 1984, Jacksonville, Fla.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies and the local organizing committees.