INDIANAPOLIS – The 2005 American Cup presented by T.J. Maxx lived up to its billing as a showdown of world-class talent on Friday during event preliminaries at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale , New York . The top eight athletes will compete for World Cup points and $46,000 in prize money in Saturday’s finals slated for 2:30 p.m. ET .
Hometown favorite, Ronkonkoma ‘s Eric LaMorte (Eastern Gymnastics ), competing in his first meet as a member of the U.S. National Team, qualified second to the still rings final with a score of 9.500. Alexander Artemev (Lakewood, Colo./5280) earned a 9.275 to qualify third for the final on his specialty, the pommel horse, and tied for fifth on floor at 8.750. Finally, David Sender (Chicago/Stanford) finished fourth on still rings at 9.300.
Other top qualifiers include Olympic bronze medalist Patricia Moreno of Spain who qualified first with a 9.475 on floor. Olympic team gold medalist Hisashi Mizutori of Japan qualified first on men’s floor with a 9.100 with teammate Kazuya Ueda first on parallel bars at 9.350. Hungary’s Krisztian Berki stands first on pommel horse at 9.500, five-time rings World Cup medalist Yuri Van Gelder is first on rings at 9.675, and Netherlands’ Jeffrey Wammes earned a two-vault average of 9.375 to advance to Saturday’s final.
The 30 th American Cup, a FIG World Cup competition, features more than 70 of the world’s best gymnasts from 27 nations competing in an event finals only format. The top eight athletes from Friday’s prelims advance to Saturday’s finals. Athletes are competing for World Cup points to qualify to the bi-annual World Cup Final and for more than $46,000 in prize money.
Tickets for the American Cup finals on Feb. 26 range from $15-75 and are on sale now through www.ticketmaster.com, by calling (631) 888-9000 or (212) 307-7171, by visiting the Nassau Coliseum box office, or through local gymnastics clubs listed at www.usa-gymnastics.org. Spectators holding a ticket for the Feb. 26 American Cup will be admitted to the event prelims on Feb. 25.
The 2005 American Cup will be televised live on NBC Sports from 4-6 p.m. on Feb. 26.
2005 American Cup presented by T.J. Maxx
Feb. 25-26, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale , N.Y.
(top 8 advance to final)
1, Alicia Sacramone, USA , 9.337.
2, Melanie Sinclair, USA , 9.312.
3, Cheng Fei, CHN, 9.237.
4, Jeny Ibarra, MEX, 8.937.
5, Iyerida Mogollon, MEX, 8.887.
6, Huang Lu, CHN, 8.862.
7, Tania Gerner, ESP, 8.762.
8, Marci Bernholtz, CAN, 8.575.
Uneven Bars Preliminaries
1, Nastia Liukin , USA , 9.675.
2, Chellsie Memmel , USA , 9.650.
3, Elizabeth Tweddle, GBR, 9.550.
4, Liu Juan, CHN, 9.325.