HONOLULU – Reigning world all-around champion Paul Hamm reaffirmed his title by winning the Senior Men’s all-around gold medal against a talented international field on Thursday at the 2004 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships presented by Outrigger Hotels in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hamm (Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron-Ohio State) scored a 57.265 for the victory. China’s Lu Bo took second at 55.482 trailed by Canada’s David Kikuchi at 55.482. Hamm steadily improved throughout the night, finishing on pommel horse where he scored a 9.783 to secure the victory. In the process, he qualified for five event finals on Saturday.

"My confidence level was pretty high, especially after rings and vault. I started on my weakest event, so I knew that if I could get my vault, I could get on a roll," Hamm said. "When we saw China get off to a quick start on high bar and parallel bars, we knew we had to be strong on all six events and hit all our routines. It was a great meet for us."
The United States, represented by Paul Hamm, Morgan Hamm (Waukesha, Wis.), Jason Gatson (Upland, Calif.) and Steve McCain (Dallas), scored a 169.895 to finish first in the team final. Japan finished second at 164.945 followed by China at 163.945.
USA’s Mary Sanders (Toronto/Ritmika) scored a 22.225 in ball, and 25.425 in hoop for the top qualifying score in both event finals. Her all-around score of 47.650 leads Russia’s Svetlana Putintseva by 2.850 at the mid-point of the competition.
"I’m pretty happy with today. I felt my hoop was a strong routine," Sanders said. "The ball was difficult because of the humidity. It makes the ball really slippery and hard to hold on to. I had a bobble in ball, but overall I was happy."
USA’s Taqiy Abdullah won the Junior all-around, the U.S. Men’s Jr. Team finished second in the team competition, and Rachel Marmer stands first in Junior Rhythmic after the first day of competition.
Friday’s schedule includes Junior Rhythmic all-around finals at 10 a.m., Junior Women’s all-around and team finals at 1 p.m., Senior Rhythmic all-around finals at 3 p.m., and Senior Women’s all-around and team finals at 7 p.m.
Formed in 1981, the Pacific Alliance of National Gymnastics Federations was created to develop the sport of gymnastics among the member nations that are contiguous to the Pacific Ocean. All-session tickets from $30-$75 and individual seats from $5-15 are on sale now through all University of Hawai`i ticket outlets including the Stan Sheriff Center, Aloha Stadium, the Campus Center, Rainbowtique at Ward Center, and the OCET Office at Windward Community College, by phone at 944-BOWS (2697), or on-line at www.eticketHawaii.com and local gymnastics clubs listed at www.usa-gymnastics.org.
For more information, log on to www.usa-gymnastics.org.

Sr. Men’s All-Around Final

1, Paul Hamm, USA 57.265. 2, Lu Bo, China, 55.482. 3, David Kikuchi, Canada, 55.149.

Sr. Men’s Team Final
1, United States, 169.895. 2, Japan, 164.945. 3, China, 163.962.

Junior Men’s All-Around Final
1, Taqiy Abdullah, USA, 55.198. 2, Tu Jing, CHN, 54.465. 3, Guo Weiyang, CHN, 54.331.

Junior Men’s Team Final
1, China, 162.928. 2, United States, 160.426. 3, Japan, 157.394.