© Ricardo Bufolin

BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 13, 2022 – The California-based men’s pair of Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall (Realis Gymnastics Academy) added balance exercise bronze Sunday on the final day of the 2022 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. In total, U.S. gymnasts collected six medals across four days of competition and delivered the country’s first World championships in the women’s group and men’s pair divisions, making this the most successful Acrobatic World Championships in the U.S. program’s history.

Felix and McDougall were responsible for half of all U.S. hardware earned this week. They previously secured gold in the men’s pair combined and dynamic exercises before taking bronze in the balance exercise Sunday. Their 27.900 was outpaced only by Kazakhstan’s Daniyel Dil and Vadim Shulyar who took the top spot with a 28.530 and Portugal’s Fabio Beco and Bruno Ramalho who posted a 28.020 to claim silver.

The U.S. trio of Victoria Blante of Hayward, Calif., Eily Corbett of Danville, Calif., and Cassidy Cu of Castro Valley, Calif., (WestCoast Training Center), who yesterday became World champions in the women’s group balance exercise, finished fifth in the dynamic exercise final, earning a 27.440. Belgium’s Kim Bergmans, Lise de Meyst and Bo Hollebosch topped the podium with a 29.130, while groups from Portugal (28.210) and Israel (28.140) rounded out the top three. Blante, Corbett and Cu took bronze in the women’s group combined competition earlier in the week.

The men’s group of Ethan Chang, Sam Lacy and Cade Shields of Columbia, Md., and Dorian White of Castro Valley, Calif., (Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer) were also fifth in Sunday’s dynamic exercise final, posting a 26.690. Great Britain’s Bradley Gold, Archie Goonesekera, Finlay Gray and Andrew Morris-Hunt led the way with a 28.690. Groups from Israel (27.900) and Belgium (27.890) were second and third, respectively.

World silver medalists in women’s pair balance, Katie Borcherding of Pacific, Mo., and Cierra McKown of Riverside, Calif., (Realis Gymnastics Academy) were sixth in the dynamic exercise final with a 25.920. Portugal’s Rita Ferreira and Ana Teixeira (28.000) edged runners up Alexandra Rudakova and Damira Talgat (27.430) of Kazakhstan for the title, while Hungary’s Dorina Bernath and Noemi Stattner (26.800) claimed bronze.

The Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships are held biannually. Holon, Israel will next host the competition in May of 2024.