Chris Cameron, Danell Leyva and Steven Legendre
© John Cheng

MELBOURNE, Australia, April 27, 2010 – Male gymnasts from China, the United States Canada, Russia and host Australia are among the 10 countries that will square off in the men’s team and all-around competition on April 29at the 2010 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

The U.S. Team had its first training day at Hisense Arena on Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. Team includes: seniors – Christopher Cameron of Winter Haven, Fla./University of Michigan (all-around champion, 2010 NCAA National Championships), Danell Leyva of Miami/Universal Sports (fourth on the horizontal bar at 2009 World Championships and junior all-around champion at 2008 Pac Rim), and Steven Legendre of Flower Mound, Texas/University of Oklahoma (second in the all-around at the 2010 NCAA Championships and eighth in floor exercise at 2009 Worlds); and juniors –Dylan Akers of Houston/Cypress Gymnastics (2009 U.S. pommel horse champion), C.J. Maestas of Corrales, N.M./Gold Cup Gymnastics (still rings champion and all-around silver medalist at the 2009 Junior Pan Am Championships), and John Orozco of Bronx, N.Y./World Cup Gymnastics (2009 U.S. junior all-around, floor, pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and high bar champion).

“I definitely want to hit all of my routines, try to clean up and try to break 92,” said Leyva, who is making his first trip to Australia. “This competition is pretty important for us. It’s a big meet and I just want to go in there and do my stuff, nice and clean.

“The Aussie crowd can expect some pretty high energy. It’s a really good group, we’re kind of like brothers. There will be a lot of high energy, lots of cheering going on.”

Team China will be led by Yuguo Huang, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world on floor and recently took the gold at the 2010 World Cup event in Doha.

The Australian men’s team was dealt a blow when 2008 Olympian Sam Simpson withdrew due to a shoulder injury. Reigning Australian all-around champion Sam Offord said the team was preparing well at training.

“Personally the Pacific Rim Championships is really important,” said Offord. “It’s a good stepping stone for building up for nationals, which is the selection trials for the Commonwealth Games, and then of course the Games and the World Championships later this year.

“The Chinese will be strong, they always are,” said Offord. “The Americans are looking really good, they’ve sent a strong team, and the Canadians as well. There’s definitely no easy beats.”

Women’s podium training is Wednesday, April 28, and competition goes from Thursday, April 29, through Sunday, May. 2. The competition schedule is: April 29 – men’s team and all-around finals, 3 p.m. (Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand) and 5:15 p.m. (USA, Australia, Canada, China, Russia); April 30 – women’s team and all-around finals, 11 a.m. (Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand) and 7:30 p.m. (USA, Australia, Canada, China, Russia); May 1 – men’s junior and senior individual event finals (top eight juniors and eight seniors on each apparatus), 7 p.m.; and May 2 — women’s junior and senior individual event finals (top eight juniors and eight seniors on each apparatus), 2 p.m. NOTE: All times are local to Melbourne, which is 14 hours ahead of New York, N.Y. For example, when it is 1 a.m. on Wednesday in Melbourne, it is 11 a.m. on Tuesday in New York.

— Information provided by the Australian Gymnastics Federation