Make it 17 Olympic or world championships vault finals for Oksana Chusovitina. The 43-year-old Uzbek mom can become the oldest Olympic gymnast in 100 years in Tokyo.
Chusovitina, who competed in a gymnastics record-breaking seventh Olympics in Rio, qualified fifth into Friday’s eight-woman vault final at worlds in Doha.
While Simone Biles is the clear favorite, Chusovitina is a medal threat. She was fifth last year, and the 2017 World gold and silver medalists are not competing in Doha this week.
The 2017 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee made her 14th world vault final overall, highlighted by a 2003 World title. She also reached the last three Olympic vault finals with a silver at Beijing 2008.
Chusovitina is already the oldest female Olympic gymnast.
She debuted at the world championships in 1991, winning gold with the Soviet Union, and at the Olympics in 1992 with the Unified Team.
She also represented Germany from 2006 through 2012. She had moved there to seek treatment for son Alisher’s leukemia. Alisher turns 20 next year.
Chusovitina has long focused on vault, where she has won nine world medals, the most recent in 2011.
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