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U.S. Olympian Douglas leaving coach

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 10:34 a.m. CDT

Olympic champion Gabby Douglas’ comeback is moving forward without coach Liang Chow.

Douglas, the all-around champion at the 2012 Olympics, said Wednesday she remains intent on making another run at gold in Rio. She’s just going to do it somewhere other than the Des Moines, Iowa gym run by Chow, who helped her soar to victory in London.

“I’m committed to Rio,” Douglas told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I’m not going to let anything get in the way of that.”

The 18-year-old Douglas returned to train with Chow in April, where she quickly showed flashes of the form that helped her become the fourth American woman to stand atop the all-around podium at the Olympics. Douglas earned praise from U.S. women’s team coordinator Martha Karolyi while working out with members of the U.S. national team last month. Karolyi said Douglas could be ready to compete by the world championships in China later this year.

That’s still part of the plan, though when Douglas will return to competition is uncertain. She will not be in the field for the Secret Classic in Chicago on Aug. 2, the final tuneup before nationals in Pittsburgh from August 21-24. Douglas can petition USA Gymnastics for a spot in nationals, which would be a mere formality.

No woman has repeated as all-around Olympic champion since 1968. Douglas is intent on adding to the two golds she captured in London as a member of the “Fierce Five.”

Douglas took a lengthy sabbatical from training following her rapid rise to Olympic champion. She moved to California last fall to be closer to her family and handle the deluge of opportunities that came after her stirring triumph at the O2 Arena.

She headed back to Iowa in the spring and made significant progress. Douglas estimated last month she’s “80 percent” of where she was at in London and joked her banged up wrists were proof of how hard she’s working.

“This comeback is for real,” Douglas said Wednesday.

It will just continue with a new coach.

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