"Pacific Rim event in San Jose is Olympic in scope" - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/26/SPCBVQS6L.DTL&feed=rss.sports
[quote]"Most of the countries have brought their top seniors in preparation for the Olympic Games," said Jean-Paul Caron, a Canadian and president of the Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Federations. "Most of the countries brought their top juniors, too. It's grown quite a lot. We have almost all the countries on the Pacific Rim. We're quite pleased with that. It makes it a higher profile event."
Missing is South Korea. Caron denied that the Koreans are skipping the Pacific Rim Championships to protest the presence of Paul Hamm on the U.S. team.
"They almost always participate," Caron said. "I don't know why they're not here. They've always been here."[/quote]
Maybe they want to be a surprise at the Beijing Olympics, not show what they can do, or also don't want to take time away from practice for competition/travel.
[quote]The Chinese team, always a subject of great interest, is of unknown quality.
"I don't know exactly who they brought," Caron said. "I know we were having trouble getting their names at one point. The Chinese have so many great athletes, I'm sure they brought a good team."
Russia, meanwhile, has reportedly brought a high-caliber team that includes Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova, Dmitry Gogotov, Sergei Khorokhordin and Yury Ryazanov.
"It really raised the profile when you bring the U.S., China, Japan and Russia together," Caron said.[/quote]
Shawn Johnson is one of USA's top gymnasts, but not competing at the Pacific Rim Championships. There are only 3 seniors and 3 juniors per team, but anyways USA team has Nastia Liukin (won AA gold at Tyson American Cup), and perhaps Martha Karolyi decided it's better for Shawn to have workout time not interrupted by another competition - like for her new vault. And to test out Jana Bieger and Darlene Hill. The USA women's team does have a lot of depth. USA men's AA winner Paul Hamm is on the men's team.
[quote]The men's team and all-around competitions take place Friday in two sessions, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. The U.S. goes in the evening along with Australia, Canada, China, Japan and Russia. The women's team and all-around is Saturday, again at 1:30 and 7. China competes early while the U.S. joins Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei and Japan at 7.[/quote]