INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. will host the nation’s best male gymnasts as they compete in the 2004 Men’s U.S. Championships Qualifier, starting at 3 p.m. April 24 at the USOTC Sports Center.
The Men’s Qualifier is the only route for athletes not already on the Senior National Team to qualify for the 2004 U.S. Championships, June 2-5 in Nashville, the 2004 U.S. National Team program, and to qualify to compete in the 2004 Olympic Trials, June 24-27 in Anaheim, Calif.
“The Men’s U.S. Championships Qualifier is a very important event on the men’s gymnastics calendar,” said USA Gymnastics President Bob Colarossi. “These athletes represent the nation’s established and up-and-coming talent which we will look to during the U.S. Championships and 2004 Olympic Games.”
USOTC athletes will be well represented, including: 2000 Olympian and 11-year National Team veteran Stephen McCain, on the comeback trail after taking silver at the 2001 World Championships; Jason Gatson, this year’s VISA American Cup champion and an all-around finalist at the 2003 Worlds; and Brett McClure, who has earned two consecutive team silver medals at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships.
Alexander Artemev (Lakewood, Colo./Team Chevron-5280) recently finished fifth in the Athens Olympic Test Event and will contend to hold his spot on the U.S. National Team for a second season. Also expected to compete are 2003 World Team members Paul & Morgan Hamm and Raj Bhavsar, and 2001 World Team member and Winter Cup runner-up Sean Townsend.
The top three all-around athletes from the 2004 NCAA Championships will join top all-around athletes from the Men’s Qualifier, plus current members of the U.S. Senior National Team, to advance to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Individual event specialists placing first or second on their event at the Qualifier will advance to the Championships, along with the top two three-event, four-event, and five-event qualifiers who finish among the top 13 all-around athletes.
Tickets are available at the door on the day of competition. Athletes are available for advance media interviews from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Friday, April 23. Media seeking credentials should contact Jewel Graham at 317-829-5623. Media planning to attend also need to apply for USOTC on-complex credentials at www.usocpressbox.org.