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April 17, 1993|From Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, England — Shannon Miller, shut out of the gold in her last two major international competitions, held off Romanian Gina Gogean to win the all-around gold medal Friday at the World Gymnastics Championships, becoming only the second American to hold the world title.

Gogean had a chance to catch Miller at the end, but she came up just short on her floor event. She needed a score of 9.808 to tie Miller, and scored 9.800, to settle for the silver.

Miller, who moves on to competition on the individual events, totaled 39.062 points from the four disciplines: the uneven bars, beam, floor exercises and vault.

"It's not as big as the Olympics, but I'm glad I did well," said Miller, 16, who won two silver and three bronze medals at last year's Barcelona Olympics.

"It was a great experience coming here, and I worked hard for the competition and I'm glad I did as well as I could."

Tatiana Lyssenko, a Barcelona gold medalist on the beam, edged American Dominique Dawes for the bronze medal. Lyssenko, from Ukraine, scored 39.011 to Dawes' 38.830.

At the World Championships at Indianapolis two years ago, Miller, from Edmond, Okla., won a team silver and tied for another second place on the uneven bars.

This time, it was the beam, one of her favorite events, that almost cost her the title.

After an impressive 9.825 on the uneven bars, Miller took two quick steps back to steady herself on her dismount, causing her score to slip to 9.625. That dropped her from second to fifth overall.

Dawes, meanwhile, moved into the lead.

The 16-year-old from Silver Spring, Md., started with a 9.762 on uneven bars, followed that with 9.775 on the beam and 9.800 in floor exercises.

But Miller got back into the lead by hitting two vaults in the final round.

Her first earned a score of 9.775, and the second was awarded a 9.800, for an average of 9.787.

Miller's coach, Steve Nunno, punched the air with both fists in exultation as she left the stage.

"The second vault was the best thing I did," Miller said.

Miller's vault meant Dawes had to get 9.726 from her final vaults to win. On the first, though, she took a big forward step to steady herself on landing. Then, repeating the same routine, she slipped to the floor for a 9.493.

Lyssenko moved into a medal spot--but was unable to top Miller--with a 9.824 in the vaults and 9.725 on the uneven bar.

Oxana Fabrichnova of Russia placed fifth with 38.630, Rozalia Galieva of Uzbekistan was sixth with 38.856 and Yelena Piskoun of Belarus was seventh with 38.554.

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