ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Oct. 14, 2010 – The U.S. Men’s Team for the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, trained in the competition arena during podium training at the Ahoy Arena today. The U.S. men will compete at 8 p.m. local time on Oct. 18, the first of two qualification days for the men. The U.S. women take the floor at 9 a.m. local time on Oct. 17, the second day of the women’s qualification rounds. The World Championships are scheduled for Oct. 16-24.
"We had a great day in training," said Kevin Mazeika, the men’s national team coordinator. "I think they are where they need to be. We need to make a few adjustments, but we’ll be ready to go for team qualifications. This is a very energetic group of guys, and they bring a lot of spirit on to the floor. I am looking forward to competition."
Podium training allows the participants to train on the actual competition apparatus.
"I am really happy with podium training," said Jonathan Horton of Houston, a two-time Olympic medalist who is competing in his fourth World Championships. "Exactly what I expected happened. Nobody was perfect. We had some falls, but that’s exactly what podium training is for. You don’t want to be perfect at podium training. You are out there on the equipment for the first time ever. You are trying to get used to it and to the lights, how big the arena is. I was really proud of the guys, and I’m really excited for competition."
The members of the World Team are: Chris Brooks of Houston /University of Oklahoma; Chris Cameron of Winter Haven, Fla./University of Michigan; Horton, who trains at Cypress Gymnastics; Steven Legendre, Flower Mound, Texas/University of Oklahoma; Danell Leyva of Miami/Universal Gymnastics; and Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Ohio State University. Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./University of Illinois, is the alternate.
When asked about competing at his first World Championships, Brooks said, "It just hits you when you walk in. You realize that all those dreams you had (have come true). It’s like, ‘Wow, I’m really here. All that hard work, it put me here.’ It’s a pretty cool feeling."
The World Championships features team, all-around and individual event competition. Qualification rounds determine advancement to the team, all-around, and apparatus finals. The women’s qualification rounds are Oct. 16-17, with the men’s Oct. 18-19. The top eight teams compete in the team finals on Oct. 20 (women) and 21 (men). The top 24 individuals compete in the all-around final on Oct. 22 (men and women). For individual events, the top eight on each apparatus from the qualification rounds advance to the finals (Oct. 23-24). A maximum of two gymnasts per country advances to the all-around and individual event finals.
Fans can follow the action on both Universal Sports and NBC Sports. Universal Sports is carrying a live webcast on universalsports.com and providing same-day, tape-delayed primetime broadcasts on its cable network for all of the final rounds, as well as hosting "Around the Gym, presented by AT&T" after each night’s broadcast to recap the day’s performance and preview the upcoming competition. The live webcast for all of the final rounds is only $9.99 with the code USAGYMFAN. NBC Sports will broadcast coverage on Oct. 23 and 24. For the complete web and TV schedules, go to usagym.org/worlds.
On its official website usagym.org/worlds, USA Gymnastics will provide enhanced coverage from Rotterdam that will include results and exclusive photos from the competition as well as daily video interviews. USA Gymnastics will also post event updates on its Facebook and Twitter pages and provide LIVE team scores and rankings from each day of Team USA competition @USA_GymEvents.
In addition to awarding world medals, the 2010 World Championships also determine the 24 countries that advance to the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Countries have two opportunities to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, finishing in the top eight in the team competition at the 2011 World Championships or in the top four at the 2012 Olympic Test Event in London. World champions and medalists will be determined for both men and women in the team, all-around and individual events.