U.S. men qualify for team finals at World Championships and secure 2016 Olympics berth
posted on 10/26/2015

GLASGOW, Great Britain, Oct. 26, 2015 – At the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Great Britain, the U.S. men not only earned a berth for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but also qualified for the team, all-around and five event finals. Danell Leyva of Miami, Fla./Team Hilton (Universal Gymnastics), was fourth in the all-around and first in the horizontal bar preliminary standings. The U.S. women return to competition today at 6:45 p.m. local/2:45 p.m. ET for the women’s team finals. Fans in the U.S. can watch coverage of Team USA, presented by AT&T, live on USAGymWorlds.com/live.

The top eight countries in the team qualifying rankings automatically qualified for Rio, as well as advanced to the team finals at the World Championships. The USA was fifth, with the top three spots going to Japan, China and Great Britain.

The members of U.S. Men’s Team are: Chris Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center); Danell Leyva of Miami, Fla./Team Hilton (Universal Gymnastics); Alexander Naddour of Queen Creek, Ariz./Team Hilton (USA Youth Fitness Center); Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center); Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center); and Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center). Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), is the alternate.

The top 24 in the all-around and the top eight in each event advanced to the respective finals, with a maximum of two per country. The U.S. men competing in the individual finals are listed below by event, with the preliminary ranking in parens.

All-around: Leyva (4); Whittenburg, second reserve athlete
Pommel horse: Naddour (5)
Still rings: Wynn (3); Whittenburg (8)
Vault: Whittenburg (8); Ruggeri, first reserve athlete
Parallel bars: Leyva (6)
Horizontal bar: Leyva (1); Brooks (6)

Leyva started the men’s effort in the qualification round on the still rings, earning a 14.400 for his routine that included a piked to tuck Yamawaki and a double double tuck dismount. Brooks’ posted a 14.500 for his routine that featured a tuck to piked Yamawaki and a twisting double tuck. Naddour’s set with a piked Yamawaki to Maltese and a one-and-a-half twisting double back tallied a 14.666. Whittenburg’s performance had a pike Yamawaki and a double double layout, scoring a 15.466. Wynn, who anchored the event, claimed the USA’s top score on the event at 15.608 for his routine that had a full twisting double layout dismount. The team score was 60.240,

On vault, Leyva’s Kasamatsu full scored a 14.500. Brooks garnered a 14.900 for his handspring double front. Naddour landed short on his Tsukahara double pike for a 14.633. Both Ruggeri and Whittenburg did two vaults to attempt to qualify for the vault final: Ruggeri – Yurchenko half-on, front double full, 15.300, and Yurchenko two-and-a-half, 14.900, for a 15.133 average; and Whittenburg – Dragalescu, 15.033, and a full-twisting double back Tsukahara, 15.233, for a 15.133 average. USA’s event score of 59.866 moved them into third place in the team rankings at 120.106.

Ruggeri was first up on parallel bars and posted a 14.733. Wynn and Whittenburg both earned a 14.633. Leyva’s routine included a peach Diamidov and double front dismount for a 15.633. Brooks encounted problems on his dismount and earned a 12.933. After three events, the USA moved into second place with a 179.738 total including a 59.632 parallel bars score.

On the horizontal bar, Leyva put on a show with his high-flying routine that included a layout Kovacs, a Kolman, and a double-twisting double layout dismount that snared the meet’s highest bar score thus far of 15.566. Brooks stuck his layout double double dismount for a 15.066. Whittenburg’s routine featured a Cassina, Yamawaki half and a double twisting double layout that merited a 13.833. Wynn’s routine included a Takamoto full, one-arm giant and full twisting double layout for a 13.600. The USA moved to third overall with a 237.803 with the horizontal bar total of 58.065.

Ruggeri turned in the USA’s best routine for the floor exercise, which earned a 14.866 after an Arabian double layout, a front double full and a two-and-a-half to front full. Naddour, who was first out, garnered a 14.433 for a routine that ended with a full-twisting double back. Whittenburg performed a front layout, front double pike, front full double front and a half-in, half-out that scored a 13.900. Both Leyva and Brooks posted a 14.366 for their routines. After five events, the USA is in third with 295.834 after adding a 58.031 event total.

The U.S. Team survived pommel horse and posted a 54.498 for the event. Naddour, who anchored the rotation, turned in an impressive routine that included a handstand from scissors and a one-pommel Russian and earned a 15.266. Leyva’s routine featured a scissor to handstand and one pommel work to claim a 14.433. Whittenburg (12.266), Brooks (12.533) and Ruggeri (11.966) encountered problems on the event that has bedeviled several countries in the qualification round. The USA ended the competition in fifth place overall.

The U.S. women compete in tomorrow’s women’s team finals. The seven women on the U.S. squad are: Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre; Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Buckeye Gymnastics; Brenna Dowell of Odessa, Mo./GAGE; Madison Kocian of Dallas/WOGA; Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters; Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics; and MyKayla Skinner of Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights, who is the alternate. The U.S. women secured a berth to the 2016 Olympics based on their performance in the qualifying round.

Women’s line-up for team finals
Vault: Douglas, Nichols, Biles
Uneven bars: Nichols, Douglas, Kocian
Balance beam: Nichols, Raisman, Biles
Floor exercise: Nichols, Raisman, Biles

This year’s World Championships, which conclude Nov. 1, are the first of two opportunities for countries to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The top eight teams from Glasgow advance to the 2016 Olympics, as well as any individual event medalists who are not on a qualifying team to the Olympics or Olympic Test Event. Countries ranked nine through 16 in the team rankings advance to the Olympic Test Event next April, where four more teams and various individual athletes will qualify for Rio.

In Glasgow, world champions and medalists will be determined for both men and women in the team, all-around and individual events. The qualification round determines which countries and athletes advance to the team and individual event finals, respectively: team finals – top eight countries; all-around finals – top 24, maximum two per country; and individual event finals – top eight, maximum two per country, for each apparatus.

Ways to follow the action
Here's a quick overview of the ways to watch and follow the U.S. Team's performances at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Due to daylight saving time, from Oct. 19-24 and Nov. 1, Glasgow will be five hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone. From Oct. 25-31, Glasgow will be four hours ahead of the Eastern time zone. For more information on the World Championships and the complete online and television schedule, go to USAGymWorlds.com. All coverage of the World Championships is presented by AT&T.

 

 

  • Live streaming of the six finals sessions will be available on UniversalSports.com and USAGymWorlds.com/live.
    • Oct. 27, women’s team final, 2:45 p.m. ET
    • Oct. 28, men’s team final, 1:55 p.m. ET
    • Oct. 29, women’s all-around final, 2:45 p.m. ET
    • Oct. 30, men’s all-around final, 2:10 p.m. ET
    • Oct. 31, individual event finals (men’s floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings; women’s vault, uneven bars), 9:30 a.m. ET
    • Nov. 1, individual event finals (men’s vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar; women’s balance beam, floor exercise), 8:30 a.m. ET
  • Universal Sports Network will air each finals session of the World Championships daily at 8 p.m. ET Oct. 27-30 and Nov. 1 and at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. The network’s broadcast team includes Olympic gold medalists Bart Conner and Amanda Borden.
  • NBC will broadcast delayed Worlds coverage on Oct. 31 at 2:30 p.m. and Nov. 1 at 12 p.m., with commentary from NBC Sports Group’s gymnastics team of Tim Daggett, 1984 Olympic team gold medalist, Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic all-around champion, and Al Trautwig.
  • USA Gymnastics will provide enhanced coverage from Glasgow, including results, photos, interviews and the webcast. Fans can also follow the action on Facebook, facebook.com/USAGymnastics, and Twitter, @usagym, #FIGWorlds2015ART or #USAGymWorlds.
  • Live scoring. The International Gymnastics Federation provides live scoring from its World Championships. For more information and access, go to fig-gymnastics.com.