Ruggeri, Whittenburg advance to event finals at Doha Challenge Cup
posted on 03/26/2014

© John Cheng

DOHA, Qatar, March 26, 2014 -- Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./ U.S. Olympic Training Center, and Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./U.S. Olympic Training Center, qualified for event finals at the Doha (Qatar) Challenge Cup at the Aspire Dome. Ruggeri will compete in three finals, the floor exercise, vault and horizontal bar, and Whittenburg advanced to the parallel bars final. The finals for the three-day event, which is part of the International Gymnastics Federation's World Cup series, are split over Thursday and Friday.

Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy, is the first reserve athlete for the pommel horse and third reserve athlete for the high bar.

Ruggeri is competing in the finals for all three of his events. For the floor exercise, he placed third in the qualification round, posting a 15.050. On vault, his 14.850 average landed him in sixth place and a spot in the finals. He received a 15.000 for his first vault and a 14.700 for his second. In the high bar qualification, he tied for third at 15.350 but lost on the tie-breaker and dropped to fourth.

Whittenburg made the parallel bar finals with his 14.950 and eighth-place finish. He is the second reserve athlete for the vault. He posted a 14.675 average (14.750, 14.600) that was a tie for ninth but he lost on the tie-breaker. Whittenburg also was 12th in still rings, scoring a 14.800.

Kimble also fell victim to a tie-breaker in the pommel horse qualification round. His 14.850 put him in a tie for eighth, but the tie-breaker dropped him to ninth place. For the high bar, he tallied a 14.650 for 11th place and the third reserve spot. Kimble also placed 18th on the parallel bars with a 13.450 score.