JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 5, 2011 –2010 World bronze-medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston and 2009 American Cup champion Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich., won the men’s and women’s all-around titles, respectively, at the 2011 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event, at the Jacksonville (Fla.) Veteran’s Memorial Arena. The Ukraine’s Mykola Kuksenkov and 2010 World all-around champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia finished second, with the USA’s Jake Dalton of Sparks, Nev., and Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass., finishing third.
Horton, who competes for Cypress Gymnastics, started out strong on the floor exercise with his double-twisting, double-back mount to score a 15.066. He scored a 13.533 on pommel horse and had the highest score of the meet on still rings, 15.500. Horton scored a 16.000 on his front handspring double front vault. Horton scored a 15.066 for his parallel bars routine that is packed with difficulty, including a new front uprise double back, a piked Belle and a Tippelt. His parallel bars routine moved him into first going into the final event. Horton brought it home on the horizontal bar, posting a 15.033, which was the top score for this event. His bar routine included a full-twisting layout Kovacs and full-twisting double layout dismount. Horton’s total all-around score was a 90.198.
“It was awesome, said Horton, who has won the American Cup twice before. “This is the second time I’ve won here in Jacksonville. I worked as hard as I could to come back, especially after my thumb injury. I’m so happy it went well today.”
In her senior level event debut, Wieber had the top score of the day on three of the four events – vault, balance beam and floor exercise. She scored a 15.833 on vault for her Yurchenko 2.5. On beam, she earned a 15.266 for her routine highlighted by a standing full twist and a flip flop, flip flop 2.5 dismount. On floor, Wieber scored a 14.900, performing a double-twisting, double-tuck mount and 1.5 to triple full on her second pass. She had a problem on bars, scoring a 13.900 after missing a Tkatchev, but was able to maintain the all-around lead scoring a 59.899.
Wieber, who trains at Gedderts Twistars USA, said, “It felt great to win my second American Cup title. It’s such an honor.”
When asked about her miss on bars, she said, “I had to pretend like the fall didn’t happen. I had to stay strong and stay focused.”
On the men’s side, Kuksenkov, who was fourth in the all-around at the 2010 World Championships, led the men’s competition through the first four rotations and had the top score on pommel horse, 14.866. He finished second in the all-around behind Horton with a score of 90.032. The USA’s Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev., finished third in the all-around with a score of 88.497. Dalton, who was a last-minute replacement for Russia’s injured athlete Sergey Khorokhordin, had the top score on floor, 15.766, for his routine that included an Arabian double layout mount.
“I learned after breakfast this morning that I was in the meet,” said Dalton, who competes for the University of Oklahoma. “Overall I feel like I did what I needed to do. This was my first big international meet.”
2010 World all-around silver medalist Philipp Boy of Germany had the high score vault of 16.100. Japan’s Koji Uematsu had the high score on parallel bars at 15.433.
On the women’s side, Mustafina started on vault with her Yurchenko 2.5 to score a 15.566. She moved to bars, where she did a stalder and in-bar elements and dismounted with a tucked 1.5 to score a 15.766, the highest women’s score of the competition. On balance beam she dismounted with a flip flop, flip flop triple full and scored a 14.833. On floor she mounted with a 3.5 twist but unfortunately had a problem on her third tumbling pass and scored a 13.666, for a total all-around score of 59.831.
Mustafina said, “I was competing a new floor routine, and it is early in the season so I’m not so upset to finish second in the all-around.”
Raisman, who trains at Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, scored a 14.866 on vault, a 13.900 on bars, a 14.933 on beam and a 14.866 on floor exercise, where she added a piked double Arabian to her already difficult routine. Raisman’s all-around total was a 58.565.
She said, “I’m really happy with my performance today, especially floor because that is the highest score I’ve received on that event.”
For only the second time in the event’s history, the AT&T American Cup is part of the FIG’s World Cup series and the first of four all-around World Cup events in 2011. The other three all-around World Cup events are in Glasgow, Scotland; Stuttgart, Germany; and Tokyo, Japan. In accordance with the World Cup regulations, the gymnasts were invited based on performances at the 2010 World Championships.
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