Alexander Artemev
© John Cheng

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., June 19, 2008 – Alexander Artemev of Lakewood, Colo., leads the men’s all-around after the first day of competition at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics, held at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Just 0.15 separates the top three men in the all-around. The women’s competition begins tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET, and the final day of the men’s competition is Saturday, June 21, at 3 p.m.

Artemev scored a 90.650, followed closely by Jonathan Horton of Houston in second at 90.550 and Raj Bhavsar of Houston in third at 90.500. Joseph Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M., is fourth with a score of 90.350. All three are members of Team Chevron.

“I took one skill out of pommel horse tonight, which made it easier for me,” Artemev said. “It gives me confidence to be in the lead, but I know there’s one more day.”

Artemev was consistent on the first night of competition, hitting all six events. He scored a 14.550 on both floor exercise and still rings, a 15.650 on pommel horse, a 15.950 on vault, a 15.350 on parallel bars and a 14.600 on horizontal bar.

The high scores of the day were: Hagerty on floor exercise, 15.400, and horizontal bar, 15.550; Artemev on pommel horse, 15.650; Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif./Team Chevron, on still rings, 16.550; Sean Golden of Camden, N.J./Team Chevron, on vault, 16.200; and Justin Spring of Burke, Va./Team Chevron, on parallel bars, 15.700.

Tan’s 16.550 on still rings was the best score of the night on any event, and his 7.300 start value is the highest for the U.S. men on still rings. Golden earned the second best score of the night on any event with a 16.200 for his Yurchenko two-and-a-half vault.

Spring had the highest total score after five rotations, but was not competing on all six apparatus. Spring competed on the floor exercise for the first time since April and was pleased with his 15.200 on floor. He did not compete on floor exercise or pommel horse at the Visa Championships, May 22-24 in Houston.

“I can’t believe I made it through my floor exercise today,” Spring said. “It was kind of a mind-blower for me. I figured if I tweaked the knee (on floor), this is the Olympic Trials and at least I know I tried.”

The weighted standings for Olympic selection, which combines the results from both the Visa Championships and U.S. Olympic Team Trials, are: Jonathan Horton in first with 63.255, Hagerty in second at 63.165 and Artemev in third at 62.825. Bhavsar is fourth with 62.800.

“It’s exciting to be in the lead,” Horton said of the weighted Olympic selection rankings. “It would be great to leave here locked on the Olympic Team. It would be incredible.”

“Regardless of scores, I was looking for consistency,” Bhavsar said. “I had fun out there, and at the end of the day, if I had fun, it was a statement of success.”

2008 U.S. all-around champion David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill./Team Chevron, did not compete today after spraining his ankle during yesterday’s training.

Tickets are still available for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics, and may be purchased online at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or at the Wachovia Center Box Office. Visa is the only card accepted for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics continues tomorrow with the first day of the women’s competition at 7 p.m. Competition for the men concludes on June 21 at 3 p.m., and the women wrap up on June 22 at 6 p.m.

Past sites for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics are: 2004, Anaheim, Calif.; 1996 and 2000, Boston; 1992, Baltimore, Md.; 1988, Salt Lake City, Utah; and 1980 and 1984, Jacksonville, Fla.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies and the local organizing committees.

About the Wachovia Center
The Wachovia Center, one of the nation’s most premier facilities, has already hosted the l996 World Cup of Hockey, the l997 Stanley Cup Finals, the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, l999 American Hockey League All-Star Game, the 2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2000 Republican National Convention, the 2001 NBA Finals, the 2001 NCAA Men’s East Regionals, the 2002 X Games, the 2002 NBA All-Star Game and the 2006 NCAA Men’s First and Second Round Games.

About Comcast-Spectacor
Comcast-Spectacor ( is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL), the two arenas in which their teams play, the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum, four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly ma