© John Cheng

LONDON, Great Britain, Oct. 15, 2009 – In his World Championships debut, Tim McNeill of Falls Church, Va., finished seventh in the all-around at the 2009 World Championships at The O2 Arena in London, Great Britain. Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, and 2008 Olympic team silver medalist Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., will compete in the women’s all-around on Oct. 16.

McNeill hit all six of his routines and finished with an 87.150. He started with a very solid floor routine, posting a 14.500. He did well on his pommel horse routine, which includes the full Kehr, and received a 15.000. On rings, McNeill scored a 14.325 for his routine that included a tucked double double dismount. McNeill’s Yurchenko double full on vault scored a 15.300. His parallel bars routine, which is packed with difficulty, yielded a 14.200. Finishing on high bar, his routine that included a Yamawaki release and a tucked double double dismount received a 13.825.

“I’m pretty excited (about finishing in the top 10),” said McNeill, who trains with the University of California – Berkeley. “I really tried not to think about my ranking or standing against the rest of the field, but it is pretty impossible to blank that out and I think that did get to me a little bit. Parallel bars gave me a chance (to move up in the rankings), and if I could change one thing, it would be to go back and redo that routine. Overall, I gave it my best, and I put everything out there. That’s all I can ask of myself. I still have the pommel horse final so have to get back to work.”

2008 Olympic silver-medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston had a disappointing evening, finishing 17th in all-around. He got off to a rough start on the first two events, which unfortunately dropped him in the standings. He missed the landing on his tumbling first pass and due to a few other missteps earned a 13.775 for floor. A miss on pommel horse caused him to land on the horse, where he got an 11.100. His rings routine was solid and earned a 14.900. Horton had a small step outside the boundary on his landing but executed his handspring double front well for a 15.750 on vault. He continued to build momentum with a well-done parallel bars routine that received a 15.125. A missed release move dropped his score to a 13.650 on high bar. He ended with an all-around total of 84.300.

“It’s gymnastics,” said Horton, who trains at Cypress Gymnastics. “It’s a tough sport. Things happen and they happen for a reason, I believe. I have a lot of faith and I have a lot of confidence in myself. It’s the world championships, and some things you just can’t explain. I went out there and I tried to have my best performance. After pommel horse, I went to my coach and said, ‘I can’t be mad at myself. I am not going to quit.’ So then my goal was rings and high bar. I was thinking, ‘Let’s hit and have a good time.’"

“I am going to continue to train my hardest when I get back,” said Horton, who is in the high bar finals on Sunday. “My heart is always in this game. I feel I belong on that medal podium, if not at the top, and I am going to train harder than I ever have so I can come back next year.”

Following the women’s all-around, the individual event finals are Oct. 17-18. All four women advanced to event finals: Kayla Williams of Huntington, W.Va., vault; Bross and Sloan, uneven bars; Ivana Hong of Allen, Texas, balance beam; and Bross, floor exercise. For the men, four will compete: Steven Legendre of Flower Mound, Texas, floor exercise; McNeill, pommel horse; and Danell Leyva of Miami/Universal Gymnastics, and Horton, horizontal bar.

2009 World Championships
London, Great Britain
Oct. 13, 2009
Men’s all-around finals
Complete results

1. Kohei Uchimura, Japan, 91.500
2. Daniel Keatings, Great Britain, 88.925
3. Yury Ryazanov, Russia, 88.400
U.S. finishes
7. Tim McNeill, Falls Church, Va./University of California – Berkeley, 87.150
17. Jonathan Horton, Houston/Cypress Gymnastics, 84.300