HONOLULU – Houston’s Taqiy Abdullah nailed his floor and pommel horse routines to win the Junior Men’s all-around title on Thursday at the 2004 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships presented by Outrigger Hotels in Honolulu, Hawai`i.

Abdullah (Houston Gymnastics Academy) finished with a final mark of 55.198 to win the all-around over China’s Tu Jing at 54.465. USA’s Bryan Del Castillo (Laguna Niguel, Calif./South Coast) finished seventh at 52.480.

“It was a great competition. The atmosphere here is really good,” Abdullah said. “China performed great today. Our goal was to win the team gold, and we fought hard for it. I just went out there trying to bring home that team medal. I’m really happy that I was able to add the all-around title as well.”

Led by Abdullah, Team USA finished second in the team final with 160.426, trailing China at 162.928. Competing for the U.S. were Abdullah, Del Castillo, Kyson Bunthuwong (El Cerrito, Calif.) and Derek Helsby (Houston).

In junior rhythmic action, USA’s Rachel Marmer (Los Angeles, Calif./LASG) leads the all-around with a score of 40.500 following the ball and rope events today.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with my ball routine today,” Marmer said. “It’s a tough field here at the Pacific Alliance. I’m just proud to be in the lead at this point and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s finals.”

Competition continues at 3 p.m. with Senior Rhythmic all-around and at 7 p.m. with Senior Men’s all-around and team finals. Friday’s schedule includes Junior Rhythmic all-around finals at 10 a.m., Junior Women’s all-around and team finals at 1 p.m., Senior Rhythmic all-around finals at 3 p.m., and Senior Women’s all-around and team finals at 7 p.m.

Formed in 1981, the Pacific Alliance of National Gymnastics Federations was created to develop the sport of gymnastics among the member nations that are contiguous to the Pacific Ocean. All-session tickets from $30-$75 and individual seats from $5-15 are on sale now through all University of Hawai`i ticket outlets including the Stan Sheriff Center, Aloha Stadium, the Campus Center, Rainbowtique at Ward Center, and the OCET Office at Windward Community College, by phone at 944-BOWS (2697), or on-line at www.eticketHawai`i.com and local gymnastics clubs listed at www.usa-gymnastics.org.

For more information, log on to www.usa-gymnastics.org.

Junior Men’s All-Around Final
1, Taqiy Abdullah, USA, 55.198. 2, Tu Jing, CHN, 54.465. 3, Guo Weiyang, CHN, 54.331.

Junior Men’s Team Final
1, China, 162.928. 2, United States, 160.426. 3, Japan, 157.394.