Top Athletes, Teams Gearing Up For Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championship
posted on 03/22/2004

INDIANAPOLIS - Top athletes from the Pacific Rim are en route to Honolulu, Hawai`i for the 2004 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships presented by Outrigger Hotels, April 15-17 at the Stan Sheriff Center.


"The Pacific nations are supporting the 2004 Pacific Alliance Championships with some of their best athletes, lending to what promises to be an exciting competition," said USA Gymnastic President Bob Colarossi. "We are proud to be hosting our Pacific friends in such a beautiful setting for an important stop on our journey toward Athens."

The international roster includes the top three men's teams (China, USA, Japan) and three of the top four women's teams (USA, Australia, China) from the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships.

On the women's artistic side, Australia won the bronze medal at the Worlds a year ago, bolstered by Monette Russo and Allana Slater, who finished 12th and 13th respectively in the all-around final. They will be joined by 2-time Olympian Lisa Skinner, who along with Slater has competed on four World Championships teams.

Canada is led by Kylie Stone, who took 14th in the all-around at last summer's World Championships, and 2003 Worlds teammate Heather Purnell.

China's women placed fourth at Worlds, helped by Lin Li's 17th place overall finish in the team final. Japan is led by Keiko Mukumoto and Yukari Ishizeki who finished 9th and 14th all-around at the 2003 Japan National Championships.

For the men, Canada, which placed 9th at last year's Worlds competition, will bring World Team members David Kikuchi and Grant Golding. Australia is led by 2000 Olympian and four-time World Championships team member Philippe Rizzo, along with Worlds participants John Carroll and Joel Moss.

China, the current world champion on the men's side, will be represented by Li Dezhi, who took 5th in the 2003 Asian Games. China's top junior men are also expected to attend, including Liang Mingsheng and Tu Jing who took first and second respectively at the 2003 Asian Games Jr. competition. Malaysia and Chinese Taipei also send two contenders on the men's side. Malaysia's Ng Shu Wai took 11th, followed by Taipei's Lin Saing Wai in 12th at the Asian Games.

The U.S. men's roster is headlined by reigning world all-around champion Paul Hamm, 2003 world team silver medalist Jason Gatson, and 2000 Olympian Steve McCain. The Men's Junior roster includes Taqiy Abdullah, Bryan DelCastillo, Kyle Bunthuwong and Derek Helsby. The U.S. rhythmic roster features two-time reigning national champion Mary Sanders, runners-up Olga Karmansky and Lisa Wang, along with juniors Brennan Stacker, Rachel Marmer and Julie Zetlin. The U.S. women's roster will be confirmed in early April.

Formed in 1981, the Pacific Alliance of National Gymnastics Federations was created to develop the sport of gymnastics among the member nations that are contiguous to the Pacific Ocean. Preliminary entries have been received from Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand Philippines, Russia and the United States.


All-session tickets from $30-$75 and individual seats from $5-15 are on sale now through all University of Hawai`i ticket outlets including the Stan Sheriff Center, Aloha Stadium, the Campus Center, Rainbowtique at Ward Center, and the OCET Office at Windward Community College, by phone at 944-BOWS (2697), or on-line at www.eticketHawai`i.com and local gymnastics clubs listed at www.usa-gymnastics.org.

A schedule of events follows:

2004 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships Schedule

Monday, April 12 Arrival of Delegations
Tuesday, April 13 Training; Media Day - Men's Competition
Wednesday, April 14 Training; Media Day - Women's Competition
Thursday, April 15 Competition - Men's Artistic and Rhythmic
Friday, April 16 Competition - Women's Artistic and Rhythmic
Saturday, April 17 Competition - Individual Event Finals, All Disciplines
Sunday, May 16 Broadcast, 1-3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports

2004 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships Athlete Entries
: Men, Women, Rhythmic

MEN

JOZWIAK Martin AUSTRALIA MAG Athlete JR
MARTIN Christopher AUSTRALIA MAG Athlete JR
OFFORD Samuel AUSTRALIA MAG Athlete JR
PICHLER Thomas AUSTRALIA MAG Athlete JR
GUO Weiyang CHINA MAG Athlete JR
HE Jiajin CHINA MAG Athlete JR
LIANG Mingsheng CHINA