Richardson, Bhardwaj Qualify For Floor Finals

Aug. 15, 2004

Athens, Greece - UCLA's Kate Richardson and Mohini Bhardwaj qualified for the floor exercise event finals after stellar performances in the team preliminaries. Both gymnasts also placed amongst the Top 15 in the all-around, but only Richardson will qualify for the all-around finals due to the two-per-country rule.Richardson posted the sixth-best floor exercise score of the day with a 9.562. She becomes Canada's first ever event finalist on floor and only the second Canadian woman ever to make finals on any event. Richardson also qualified for the all-around finals for the second consecutive Olympics by placing 14th overall with a score of 37.224. She is the No. 12 qualifier. Richardson had scores of 9.212 on vault, 9.275 on bars and 9.175 on beam. She placed an all-time Canadian best 15th at the 2000 Olympics.Bhardwaj, the 2001 NCAA floor exercise champion, scored a 9.525 on floor in the lead-off position, which turned out to be the United States' highest score on that event and the eighth-best overall. Ironically, on her best event, Bhardwaj posted the lowest U.S. vault score, a 9.337. She ranks 12th on vault and is a reserve for event finals. Bhardwaj excelled in her other events, scoring a 9.487 on uneven bars and a 9.35 on beam for an all-around total of 37.699, good for eighth place overall. However, due to the two-per-country rule, she will be unable to compete in the all-around finals because two teammates - Carly Patterson (1st) and Courtney Kupets (4th) - placed ahead of her. Bhardwaj also became the first gymnast to successfully execute a Pak full on the uneven bars in an Olympic Games or World Championships and should have that move named after her in the international code of points.Bhardwaj's U.S. team qualified for the team finals with the second best score (151.848), behind Romania (152.436). Richardson's Canadian team placed 10th (146.947). The U.S. will compete for a medal in Tuesday's team finals. All-around finals will take place on Thursday, Aug. 19. Floor exercise finals are on Monday, Aug. 23. No scores from Sunday's preliminaries will carry over to the finals.

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