The Chinese Ou on Global Gold Prospects: “I have to focus on myself and overcome my nerves”

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Going into Sunday’s apparatus finals at the World Championships in Liverpool as the top qualifier on balance beam, the Chinese gymnast Or Yushan said a combination of focus and calm could win him gold.

“Of course, I’m confident because I’m having a lot of difficulty on my beam routine and I believe in myself,” said Ou, whose score of 13.900 ranked her first in qualifying, ahead of the American gymnast. Skye Blakeley (13,733) and Japan Miyata Shoko (13,700). “But all I have to do is focus on myself and get over my nerves.”

Ou called her seventh-place performance in Thursday’s all-around final “not perfect”, despite having the field’s top score on beam in qualifying last weekend.

“I made a few mistakes on the uneven bars and the balance beam, and also had swings caused by the nerves,” said Ou, from Guanxi. “I was a little relieved after the beam, so I did a good job on the floor.”

Ou, 18, was a member of the seventh-placed Chinese team at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she finished 11th on balance beam and 35th on uneven bars in qualifying. She finished third in the all-around, second on floor, fifth on uneven bars and eighth on balance beam at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Gyor.

Ou said she had plenty of room for overall improvement after Liverpool.

“To be honest, my level is not there yet,” she said. “The gap between me and the best gymnasts in the world is quite big. When I get home, I will definitely work harder to improve in many ways. In later competitions, I will try to perform more difficult skills and improve little by little.

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