HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 11, 2010 – 2008 Olympic silver-medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston came from behind to take the lead after the fifth rotation in the men’s all-around with a score of 90.350 on the first night of the senior men’s competition at the 2010 Visa Championships at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. The final day of men’s competition is Friday, Aug. 13. Tomorrow, women’s gymnastics takes the floor.
Horton, who won the Olympic high bar silver medal, said, “It was a pretty good day. I felt a little tired on high bar. It’s a new high bar routine for me and I’ve been hitting about 75-80% in the gym. I hope to come back on Friday and hit it. I know what to adjust going into day two.”
Horton performed a handspring double front vault which scored a 16.050, his highest score of the evening.
Danell Leyva of Miami, Fla./Universal Gymnastics, scored an 89.350 to finish second in the all-around. His highest score of the day was on high bar, 15.650. Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Ohio State University, held the lead after the first three rounds of competition, dropped a little in the rankings during rotations four and five then finished strong on his best event, still rings, to finish third in the all-around with a score of 88.700.
Top performances on each of the six events went to: Josh Dixon of San Jose,Calif./Stanford University, on floor with a score of 15.500; Daniel Ribeiro of Chestnut Ridge, N.Y./University of Illinois, pommel horse, 15.500; Wynn, rings, 16.000; Steven Legendre of Flower Mound, Texas/University of Oklahoma, 17.050 on vault, performing a front handspring double front half out vault to earn the highest score of the competition; Chris Brooks, of Houston, Texas/University of Oklahoma, 15.700 on parallel bars and 15.800 on high bar.
The final day of men’s competition will take place Friday, Aug. 13 and scores will be added together to determine the all-around and event champions.
International Gymnastics Camp is sponsoring the Champions Challenge, a newly created $50,000 prize pool for senior men’s gymnastics that awards $35,000 for gymnasts who rank in the top 10 in the all-around, with the champion receiving $10,000. Each individual event champion will receive $2,500. The Champions Challenge is designed to meet the ever-increasing demands of training for men’s gymnastics at the elite level. The $50,000 Champions Challenge was established to enhance their athlete funding and assist in covering year-round training costs. International Gymnastics Camp, based in Stroudsburg, Pa., combines premier gymnastics training and exceptional recreation activities to create the ultimate summer gymnastics camp experience.
Universal Sports will televise live the men’s and women’s senior competition on Aug. 12-13, respectively, on its television network and website, beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Live, prime-time coverage of the final day of the women’s competition on NBC Sports begins at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14. NBC Sports will broadcast action from the men’s competition at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 15. 1984 Olympic gold-medalist Tim Daggett, Olympian Elfi Schlegel, Andrea Joyce and Al Trautwig are the announce team for both the NBC and Universal Sports broadcasts.
Hosted by 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin and three-time Olympian John Roethlisberger, “Around the Gym” will be a fun and informative way for TV viewers to see additional interviews and commentary from the Visa Championships. “Around the Gym” will air prior to the Universal Sports telecast on Aug. 12-13 and after competition concludes on Universal Sports on Aug. 12-14.
The Visa Championships determine the U.S. champions and the national team for each discipline for both the junior and senior elite levels in four disciplines. Tickets are on sale now and available through all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information, go to www.usagym.org/visa.
Held at the Connecticut Convention Center, the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show is the annual gathering of professional members that offers educational and business sessions, a large exhibitor’s hall and other business and educational opportunities. The National Congress is staged in conjunction with the Visa Championships.