• Kyodo


Japan provisionally took fourth place in the women’s team qualifying on the first day of the World Gymnastics Championships on Friday as it bids to book the third straight place in the Olympics.

Japan scored 223.863 in the meet, where the top eight teams qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Russia leads the table, and Britain and Italy placed second and third, while the U.S. and China are set to perform on Saturday.

“With us placed fourth provisionally I reckon we can get the Olympic berth. Selecting (Mai) Murakami from the reserves paid off,” said Japan coach Chieko Tsukahara.

In the individual all-around, Murakami scored 56.366 after four events for fifth place, while Asuka Teramoto came 13th with 55.532. The maximum of two from the same country or region will advance to the final of 24 participants.

A national-team debutant Sae Miyakawa topped the floor exercise, scoring 14.900 points.

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