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Gymnastics

Memmel overcame bad break

August 14, 2008
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BEIJING - Chellsie Memmel's ankle injury was worse than anyone realized.

Memmel said after the US women won the silver medal in team gymnastics yesterday that she'd been competing with a broken bone in her right ankle. The 2005 world champion hurt the ankle during training Aug. 4, but competed on uneven bars in the preliminaries and the team finals.

"I have mixed emotions," she said. "I would have loved to compete on four events, but the silver medal for my team is great."

After missing much of the last two years with a devastating shoulder injury, Memmel became one of the feel-good stories of the summer when she finished behind reigning world champ Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin at both the national championships and Olympic trials. She missed the 2004 Olympics with a foot injury.

The Americans expected to put Memmel up on all four events during qualifying, but that became impossible after she hurt her ankle. She was still able to do uneven bars, though, because it doesn't put much pressure on the ankle, and the Americans badly needed her score on the event. Memmel won the world title on bars in 2003, and has one of the most difficult routines in the world.

"I just had to believe in myself and know that I could do it," she said. "That's exactly what I did." (AP)

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