By Karen Price | Oct. 04, 2017, 9:24 p.m. (ET)
Ragan Smith reacts after competing on the balance beam during the P&G Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 20, 2017 in Anaheim, Calif.

 

Ragan Smith, the recently crowned U.S. women’s all-around gymnastics champion, will have the chance to add world champion to her résumé after finishing qualifying in second place — missing first by just .001 — on Wednesday night at the world championships in Montreal.

Smith, who was a 2016 Olympic alternate, scored a 14.433 on the floor exercise, Team USA’s final rotation of the night. She briefly moved into first in the all-around with 55.932 points before slipping to second behind Japan’s Mai Murakami, who finished qualification with 55.933.

Joining Smith in the all-around final will be teammate Morgan Hurd, whose 54.832 points put her in sixth place.

Jade Carey (vault and floor), Ashton Locklear (uneven bars), Hurd (balance beam) and Smith (floor) will also compete in the apparatus finals.

The U.S. team competed in the final women’s qualifying subdivision on Wednesday night. Only Locklear had world championship experience heading into the competition, having been part of the 2014 team that won gold. She was also an alternate on last year’s Olympic team. There is no team competition in this year’s world championships.

Carey vaulted her way into second place and a spot in that final with a score of 14.849, just behind Russia’s Maria Paseka with a score of 14.933.

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Locklear was almost perfect on her uneven bars routine, scoring a 14.566 to move into sixth place. She would lose a spot before the night was over, but her seventh-place finish was still enough to qualify for the event final.

Hurd delivered a score of 13.500 on the balance beam to finish qualifying in second place.

Smith’s 14.433 on floor exercise was good enough to keep first place, and she’ll be joined in the final by Carey, who scored 14.100 and finished in third.

The women’s all-around competition will take place on Friday, the vault and uneven bars finals will be on Saturday, and the balance beam and floor finals will be on Sunday.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.