Seven world medalists, six Olympians from 14 countries set to join U.S. athletes
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Jan. 31, 2007 — 2006 all-around and vault world bronze-medalist Fabian Hambuechen of Germany highlights the international field of world-class gymnasts who have accepted invitations to compete in the 2007 Tyson American Cup at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. 2006 women’s team world gold-medalist Zhou Zhuoru of China is also on this year’s international roster that includes six 2006 world medalists and six 2004 Olympians.
In addition to Hambuechen and Zhou, the other 2006 world medalists are: Canada — Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, balance beam bronze medalist; Japan — Takuya Nakase, men’s team bronze medalist; Russia – Maxim Devyatovsky, men’s team silver-medalist, and Kristina Pravdina, women’s team bronze medalist. The 2004 Olympians in the field are Canada’s Adam Wong, France’s Dimitri Karbanenko, Japan’s Kyoko Oshima, Puerto Rico’s Luis Vargas, Devyatovsky and Hambuechen. Karbanenko is a two-time Olympian (2000, 2004) and two-time world silver medalist (1994, 1997).
“This is truly a world-class lineup for the Tyson American Cup,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “This competition will be an outstanding test for all of the participating athletes, who hail from some of the top gymnastics countries in the world. It promises to be an exciting competition for both the men and women.”
These athletes join the USA’s Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla., and Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo., who are the U.S. gymnasts who have already been invited to compete at the Tyson American Cup. Bieger won silver medals at the 2006 World Championships in the team, all-around and floor exercise events, the most by any U.S. athlete. Artemev placed third in the pommel horse at the 2006 World Championships, becoming the first U.S. gymnast to earn a world pommel horse medal since 1979. The United States will enter a total of eight athletes, four men and four women. The remainder of the U.S. athletes will be named closer to the event.
Representing 14 countries, this year’s international field includes the following: