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Gabby Douglas Withdraws from Core Hydration Classic: A Disappointing Return to Competition

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In a surprising turn of events at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, former Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas decided to withdraw from the competition after a challenging start on the uneven bars. The competition marked Douglas’ second major meet since the Rio Olympics in 2016, as she aimed to secure her all-around qualification score for the upcoming Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

Beginning on the uneven bars, Douglas encountered difficulties, resulting in a disappointing score of 10.100. After falling twice and failing to execute her intended difficulty, Douglas made the tough decision to pull out of the competition, with no specific reason provided by USA Gymnastics.

Prior to the competition, Douglas faced obstacles, including a cancelled flight from Dallas to Hartford due to storms in the area. Despite the challenges, she managed to arrive in Hartford after catching a private jet in the early hours of the morning. Limited on sleep, Douglas displayed new skills during practice, showcasing a double layout on floor and a tucked standing full on the balance beam.

Having already secured qualification on vault, uneven bars, and balance beam at the American Classic, Douglas was looking to obtain her all-around score at the Core Hydration Classic. However, due to her withdrawal, she will not be eligible to compete in the all-around at the upcoming U.S. Championships.

Unfortunately, Douglas was not the only athlete forced to withdraw from the competition. Shortly after posting an impressive score of 14.200 on the balance beam, 2022 U.S. national champion Konnor McClain sustained an injury while warming up on the floor exercise. The severity of McClain’s Achilles injury remains unknown, with the young gymnast being escorted off the competition floor in a wheelchair.

With the U.S. Championships swiftly approaching at the end of May in Fort Worth, both Douglas and McClain will now focus on recovery and regrouping for future competitions, including the U.S. Olympic Team Trials later this year.

Rachel Adams

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