Indianapolis – Annia Hatch, who finished fourth in the all-around at the 2002 U.S. Championships, has been added to the lineup for the 2003 VISA American Cup, scheduled for March 1 in Fairfax, Va.

“Annia performed very well at the recent National Team Training Camp in Houston, and has proven that she is ready to compete at the highest level for the United States this season,” said Women’s National Team Coach Martha Karolyi. “We believe that Annia is ready to contribute to the United States program as we look forward to the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim and the 2004 Olympic Games.”

Hatch, 25, a former Cuban National Team member, also finished second on the vault, fifth on the floor and sixth on the beam at the 2002 U.S. Championships. Hatch won the all-around and vault titles at the 2002 U.S. Classic, and finished first on the vault at the 2002 American Classic.

Hatch won Cuba’s first ever World Championships medal – a bronze on the vault in 1996. Hatch moved to the United States in 1997 and was confirmed as a U.S. citizen in December of 2001.

“I am really proud to represent the United States at the VISA American Cup. I felt I did a good job at this training camp, I had fun, I tried to do my best, and I guess that’s what I did,” Hatch said. “National or international, every meet is important. I try to stay on the equipment, stick my landings and show that I am the best I can be. All gymnasts go to compete to be the best.”

Hatch replaces Tasha Schwikert, who withdrew on Tuesday. Schwikert, who was training with the U.S. National Team at the recent training camp in Houston, is still recovering from ankle surgery last fall and is not yet ready to compete on all four events.

The U.S. women’s line-up also features Ashley Postell, who took gold on the balance beam at the 2002 World Championships; Courtney Kupets, a 2002 World Championships gold medalist on the uneven bars; and Carly Patterson, the reigning U.S. Junior National all-around gold medalist.

Anchoring the U.S. men’s squad is Blaine Wilson, the 2001 VISA American Cup all-around champion; Sean Townsend, the 2001 parallel bars World Champion and 2002 parallel bars National Champion; plus two-time World Championships competitors Brett McClure and Guard Young.

“This weekend’s VISA American Cup promises to be an exciting competition,” said Jennifer Hemmer, director of Event and Sponsorship Marketing for VISA USA. “VISA’s continued support of USA Gymnastics is on display this weekend as these athletes compete for the coveted title of VISA American Cup champion, a title that has been bestowed on the legends in the sport.”

The 2003 VISA American Cup, one of the most prestigious international competitions on the gymnastics calendar, is scheduled for March 1 at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University. This world-class event, held for the sixth time in Fairfax, Va., is the first stop on the road to the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The 2003 Visa American Cup will be televised live on NBC Sports from 4-6 p.m. March 1. Tickets are on sale now through, (202) 432-SEAT (D.C., Md.), (703) 573-SEAT (Va.), the Patriot Center Box Office or participating gymnastics clubs listed at
2003 VISA American Cup Rosters


2003 VISA American Cup Rosters


  • Annia Hatch, 25, West Haven, Conn./Stars Academy
  • Courtney Kupets, 16, Gaithersburg, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics
  • Carly Patterson, 15, Allen, Texas/World Olympic Gym. Acad.
  • Ashley Postell, 16, Mitchellville, Md./Capital Gymnastics NTC
  • Florica Leonida, 16, Bucharest Romania
  • Heather Purnell, 16, Metcalfe, Ontario, Canada
  • Elizabeth Tweddle, 17, Liverpool, England
  • Elena Zamolodchikova, 19, Moscow, Russia


  • Brett McClure, 21, Mill Creek, Wash./ Team Chevron-USOTC
  • Sean Townsend, 24, Houston, Texas/Team Chevron-HGA
  • Blaine Wilson, 28, Columbus, Ohio/Team Chevron-OSU
  • Guard Young, 25, Norman, Okla./ Team Chevron-OU
  • Jordan Jovtchev, 29, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  • Dan Potra, 24, Timisoara, Romania
  • Dzianis Savenkou, 19, Gomel, Belarus
  • Hiroyuki Tomita, 22, Chiba, Japan