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U.S. women 2012 gymnastics team takes shapes

(AP) SAN JOSE, Calif. - Gabby Douglas has impeccable timing.

The perky 16-year-old upset world champion Jordyn Wieber for the first time Sunday night, winning the Olympic trials and the lone guaranteed spot for the London Games.

Douglas, bolstered by a dazzling uneven bars routine that would make an acrobat sweat, beat Wieber by a mere 0.1 points after finishing a close second at last month's U.S. championship and the first night of trials.

Douglas was looking down when her total score of 123.450 flashed, and she stood up when she heard the fans shout, flashing a big smile.

Now she'll wait to see who joins her on what will be the strongest team the Americans have had since 1996, one that will be not just favored but expected to bring home only the second Olympic team gold.

A selection committee will decide the remaining members of the five-woman team, with an announcement expected later Sunday. Wieber, who lost only her second all-around competition since 2008, is sure to be on the squad.

One gymnast who won't be headed to London, at least not to compete, is Olympic champion Nastia Liukin.

Liukin announced her comeback last October, hoping to become the first reigning Olympic champion to return to the games since Nadia Comaneci in 1980. But desire and grit are no match for shoulder problems and a three-year layoff, and Liukin's glittering career sputtered to an end. She fell on uneven bars, her signature event, when her fingertips could only brush the bar after a release move, and needed to take a step back after landing her dismount on the edge of the mat.

She regrouped with a nice balance beam routine. As she walked off the podium, her father and coach, Valeri, greeted her with a kiss and fans began to stand. Tears filled Liukin's eyes as she waved and said goodbye, to the crowd, her comeback and a career that includes five Olympic medals and four world titles.

But Liukin leaves knowing the Americans are in great hands.

Wieber has been considered the favorite for Olympic gold since winning the world title last fall, her biggest competition expected to come from Russians Aliya Mustafina and Viktoria Komova. Turns out, her real rival was right here at home.

Douglas served notice of her potential at this year's American Cup, where she actually beating Wieber, though her scores didn't count because she was competing as an alternate. She came up just short at nationals and again the first night of trials.

On Sunday night, however, Douglas would not be denied again.

Needing to score a 15.25 or better to pass Wieber, Douglas put on a show worthy of Vegas on the floor exercise. Basketball players would be envious of the hops she gets on her tumbling runs, yet she lands them with such security there's got to be some glue somewhere on those feet. She had the crowd rocking and rolling to her techno music, and she wore a grin so bright it could have powered the arena had the lights went out.

When she finished, coach Liang Chow greeted her with a bear hug. And that was before they saw her score: a 15.3 that was more than enough to hold off Wieber.