Oksana Chusovitina, 40 years old, competes at World Gymnastics Championships

AP
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Oksana Chusovitina continued to defy age by competing in her 14th World Championships on Friday.

The 40-year-old Uzbekistan gymnast first competed at Worlds in 1991, for the Soviet Union.

She’s won 11 Worlds medals in her career, which has also included Olympic or Worlds appearances for the Unified Team and Germany, the last podium finish in 2011. She had said she’d retire after finishing fifth in the London Olympics vault final.

“We are women,” Chusovitina said through a translator Friday, according to The Associated Press. “We say one thing and we change our mind. It happens all the time.”

Chusovitina has said she hopes to break the record she currently shares by competing in a seventh Olympics in Rio next year, but she likely won’t find out if she qualifies until next spring.

Chusovitina was in seventh place in the vault standings after the first day of qualifying in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday. She landed on her butt on one of her two vaults (video here).

The top eight after qualifying finishes Saturday go to the final the following weekend, but Chusovitina will likely be bumped out with the Americans and Chinese still to come in qualifying.

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