As is becoming custom, the World Championships following the Olympic Games is one that is wide open.

Very few Olympic medallists will be present in London to compete for World Champion status.

Yang Yilin (China)

Yang Yilin (China)

China’s Yang Yilin (Gold– Team, Bronze– AA, UB), He Kexin (Gold– Team, UB), and Deng Linlin (Gold– Team) make up three-quarters of the Chinese team. Yang and Deng will compete in the All-Around, and He will only compete on the Uneven Bars. Stalwart Cheng Fei (Gold-Team, Bronze VT, UB)  is out with an injury and will not be in contention for a 4th consecutive Vault title.

The USA’s Bridget Sloan (Silver– Team) is the only American Olympian to compete in London. Her Olympic teammates Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel and Samantha Peszek relinquished their positions at camp to get into better shape (Liukin and Memmel) and to have surgery (Peszek, torn labrum). Shawn Johnson is M.I.A. in the gymnastics world, to the non-surprise of even the most uninformed of gymnastics fans. Alicia Sacramone, who announced her return to gymnastics in August, is back in training, thus is not physically prepared to compete.

Hong Un Jong, the Olympic Vault Champion from North Korea will be in London.

Olympic Floor Exercise Champion from Romania, Sandra Izbasa, tore her Achilles’ Tendon in training last month and will not be in London.

Other medallists not in London: Olympic Silver medallist on Vault, Oksana Chusovitina of Germany (by way of Uzbekistan) is no longer competing, but is coaching the Uzbek gymnasts in London. All of the other medallists have been named.

Ksenia Afanasyeva (Russia)

Ksenia Afanasyeva (Russia)

To make things even more interesting, All-Around medal contender Ksenia Afanasyeva of Russia is out with a recurring back injury. Her teammate and name-mate Ksenia Semenova, the current European Champion, is now Russia’s only shot at an All-Around medal, and is a contender for the Uneven Bars title.

Aside from medal contenders being absent and Afanasyeva being out, this World Championship is wide open. Anyone could take medals in any category.

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