Gymnastics: Tweddle puts team success ahead of individual glory

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The Independent Online

Beth Tweddle, who became Britain's first world champion last October, faces three days of intense competition at the World Championships in Stuttgart as she seeks to defend her title in the uneven bars and to gain further success in the floor exercises and tonight's All Around Final.

But the 22-year-old from Cheshire, whose progress has been undermined by a shoulder operation in January and an ankle injury sustained at the European Championships in April, maintains she has already achieved her main objective at these Championships by helping Britain's women to book a place at next year's Beijing Olympics through reaching the team final.

"I have done my job for the team and now I am focused on my individual chances," said Tweddle, who finished third in last year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year contest.

From her hotel last night, Tweddle insisted she was back to full fitness after her injury problems and was ready to raise her game still further in the remaining competition. "I didn't feel I performed as well as I could have done in the A-bars earlier this week but I am happy about qualifying in third place and I'm excited about what's coming up. I've got nothing to lose and I'm going to go out and enjoy it. Most people would say my best medal chance is the A-bars, but I think I've got a chance in all of the events."

Tweddle, who trains in Toxteth, Liverpool, can expect her main rival to be the naturalised American Nastia Liukin, although there is also likely to be a strong Russian challenge.

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