ANAHEIM – Reigning World Champion Paul Hamm continued his string of dominant performances, leading the all-around after the first day of competition at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.

Hamm (Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron – Ohio State) scored a 57.600 tonight, which combined with his Visa U.S. Championships scores results in a 40.420 weighted total.

Hamm edged Brett McClure (Mill Creek, Wash./Team Chevron – OTC), with Sean Townsend (Dallas, Texas /Team Chevron – HGA) currently in third.

“Overall I had a good performance,” Hamm said. “I just had that mistake on pommel horse that I need to fix for Saturday.”

Small mistake aside, Hamm’s three best events (parallel bars, high bar, and floor) all scored above 9.700. He capped off his evening with a 9.900 score on high bar score, the highest score of the entire competition.

U.S. All-Around Silver Medalist McClure remained in second thanks to a 9.825 on pommel horse in the fourth rotation. Townsend, who finished fifth at the recent Visa U.S. Championships, posted a 9.600 on vault in the final rotation with a stellar double front with a half twist.

The top two athletes qualify to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, with four other athletes selected by committee.

Competition continues tomorrow with the Women’s Prelim at 7 p.m. The men’s competition concludes on Saturday, with action beginning at 3 p.m.