KATY, Texas, Jan. 21, 2017 – Brandon Briones of Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center, won the all-around silver medal and the USA claimed the team bronze on Friday night at the 2017 RD761 International Junior Team Cup at the Leonard Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. The International Junior Team Cup is being held in conjunction with the RD761 Gymnastics Invitational. The international competition wraps up today with individual event finals at 5 p.m. CT.
The U.S. men racked up a 235.350 to earn the team bronze medal. USA’s event scores were: 39.850, floor exercise; 35.700, pommel horse; 38.800, still rings; 42.900, vault; 40.000, parallel bars; and 38.100, horizontal bar. Japan claimed the team title with 243.950, followed by Great Britain at 236.300.
In the all-around, Briones earned the silver medal with his 80.100. Paul Juda of Deerfield, Ill./Buffalo Grove Gymnastics Center, finished seventh (76.250) and Ian Lasic-Ellis of Dover, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy, was ninth (74.800). USA’s Justin Ah Chow of Miami, Fla./Universal Gymnastics, finished 11th (70.800). Japan’s Shiga Tachibana captured the gold medal with 81.600 points and his teammate Kosuke Wakasa placed third (79.900).
The members of the U.S. squad are: Ah Chow; Briones; Juda; Lasic-Ellis; and Colt Walker of Cedar Park, Texas/Acro Tex Gymnastics. Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics’ Levon Karakhanyan and Buffalo Grove Gymnastics Center’s Leo Krivitsky are the U.S. men’s coaches for the event.
The U.S. gymnasts who advance to event finals are: floor exercise – Briones, Juda; pommel horse – Briones; still rings – Briones, Lasic-Ellis; vault – Juda, Walker; parallel bars – Lasic-Ellis, Briones; and horizontal bar – Juda, Briones.
Each team has five gymnasts. For the team competition, four gymnasts competed on each apparatus, with the three top scores counting toward the team score. The all-around rankings were determined based on performances at the team competition. With a maximum of two per country, the top eight on each apparatus qualified for event finals.
The RD761 International Junior Team Cup is named in honor of U.S. Junior National Team member Ricky Deci, who tragically passed away in 2001. The annual RD761 age group invitational competition supports the Ricky Deci Memorial Fund, which in turn funds a USA Gymnastics elite development training camp held each summer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to www.usagym.org.