By Blythe Lawrence | Nov. 24, 2018, 10 a.m. (ET)
Jade Carey performs her floor routine at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 17, 2018 in Boston.

 

Jade Carey’s bid to qualify for an individual spot at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is off to a flying start: At the first of at least three Olympic qualifying world cup events she will be participating in over the next few months, the Phoenix native vaulted to silver at the Turnier der Meister in Cottbus, Germany, on Saturday.

More than just World Cup glory is at stake for Carey in Cottbus. The 18-year-old is out to win the 2019-20 world cup series on at least one of her best events, which would all but lock up Olympic qualification place for her in Tokyo 2020.

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To do it, she will need to be on top of her game at every competition. Her bid got off to a good start Saturday, when her clean double-twisting Yurchenko and roundoff, half-on, front layout, half-off vaults earned her an average score of 14.516 points.

Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, a 2016 Olympian, averaged 14.728 for her vaults, including an excellent double-twisting Yurchenko of her own, to earn the Cottbus title. Daredevil Dipa Karmakar of India, back in competition following a knee surgery that took her out of contention in 2017, showed much-improved execution as she took bronze.

Carey, the silver medalist on vault and floor from the 2017 world championships, advanced to Sunday’s floor final in first place, where her high 6.3 difficulty score sets her apart from the rest of the field.

Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.