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Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 10:59 UK

British women have podium hopes

Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 13-18 October Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, the red button and BBC Sport website (UK only)

Beth Tweddle's guide to uneven bars

Beth Tweddle and Becky Downie lead a five-strong GB women's team, who begin World Championship qualifying at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday.

In-form Tweddle is reigning European champion in the floor and can also expect to reach the uneven bars final.

Downie, 17, was 12th in the all-around competition at the Beijing Olympics and will aim for a medal in Friday's final.

"I'd love to win another world title," said Tweddle. "With a home crowd it'd be the best feeling in the world.

"This is going to give everyone experience ahead of 2012, it's kind of a test event for the Olympics - I can't wait.

"But although everyone would love me to say 'I'll go out and win two titles,' the competition's going to be tough."

Becky Downie competing at Beijing 2008

Tweddle's main rivals in the uneven bars are expected to be Russia's Ksenia Semenova and Chinese Olympic champion He Kexin.

In the all-around competition, Downie goes up against Semenova and China's Yang Yilin.

Downie said: "It'll be a whole new experience, I've never competed in front of a home crowd before.

"We're just trying to go out there, do what we've been doing in training, and do the best we can. A final or two would be nice."

Seven of last year's 12 Olympic champions will not compete in London, for a number of reasons.

China dominated the men's events in Beijing, but several of their athletes are reported to have since retired.

US star Shawn Johnson has taken 12 months out of the sport, winning the US entertainment show Dancing With The Stars earlier this year.

BBC Sport's Ollie Williams

And Nastia Liukin, who will be in London to cheer on the US team, withdrew citing a lack of training after similar TV and commercial commitments.

Sandra Izbasa, the Romanian Olympic champion who would have rivalled Tweddle in the floor event, suffered a serious Achilles injury in September and was forced to withdraw.

Tweddle finished fourth behind Izbasa, Johnson and Liukin in the Beijing floor competition, leaving the 24-year-old a real chance of gold in London.

The competition concludes with both men's and women's individual apparatus finals on Saturday and Sunday, with no team or rhythmic gymnastics events to be staged.

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see also
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