INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 18, 2017 – The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has conducted the drawing of lots for the 2017 American Cup, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on March 4 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The American Cup is the USA’s most prestigious international invitational and part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around World Cup series.
Two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak of Corona del Mar, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center, drew ninth position for the competitive order on floor exercise. The women begin their competition on the vault and 2016 Olympic replacement athlete Ragan Smith of Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams, will compete eighth. The USA will have an additional men’s and women’s athlete competing as wildcard entries, which will be announced at a later date. The men’s wildcard drew seventh position on floor exercise with the women’s wildcard scheduled to compete fifth on vault.
The complete draw order, which drops down one athlete per rotation for the starting slot, is as follows.
1. Bart Deurloo, Netherlands; 2. Sun Wei, China; 3. Ryohei Kato, Japan; 4. Sam Oldham, Great Britain; 5. Lukas Dauser, Germany; 6. Oleg Vernaiev, Ukraine; 7. USA Wildcard; 8. Eddy Yusof, Switzerland; 9. Mikulak.
1. Eythora Thorsdottir, the Netherlands; 2. Asuka Teramoto, Japan; 3. Melanie De Jesus dos Santos, France; 4. Xie Yufen, China; 5. USA Wildcard; 6. Elsabeth Black, Canada; 7. Rebecca Tunney, Great Britain; 8. Smith; 9. Kim Bui, Germany.
Mikulak is the four-time defending U.S. all-around champion and was a member of both the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Teams. In Rio, Mikulak helped the U.S. men to fifth place, while he finished seventh in the all-around and eighth in the floor exercise final. This will be his fourth appearance at the American Cup, where he won the title in 2014.
In her first year as a senior athlete, Smith was named as a replacement athlete to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Smith earned second place in the all-around at the 2016 Jesolo (Italy) Trophy and took gold medals with the team and on the balance beam at the 2016 Pacific Rim Championships. She finished fifth in the all-around and second on beam at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
The 2017 American Cup field features 10 gymnasts who participated in last summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, including gold medalists Ryohei Kato of Japan, who is the defending men’s American Cup champion, and 2016 Olympic parallel bars champion Oleg Verniaiev.
American Cup tickets range in price from $39-$255. The platinum ($255) ticket also includes a reserved seat for the Nastia Liukin Cup and Elite Team Cup. Tickets may be purchased through Prudential Center’s box office, ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, or at all Ticketmaster outlets. For group sales (10+ people) information, please call Prudential Center’s Group Sales department at 973-757-6250. For additional information, please go to americancup.com. Tickets for the Nastia Liukin Cup and Elite Team Cup will go on sale next month.
The American Cup is the USA’s most prestigious international invitational, and this is the second straight year the one-day all-around competition will be at Prudential Center. This marks only the second time since 2002 that the American Cup will be held at the same arena in consecutive years. Prudential Center has also hosted both the 2016 and 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions.
International Gymnastics Federation. The International Gymnastics Federation is the governing body for Gymnastics worldwide. It is the oldest established international sports federation and has participated in the Olympic Games since their revival in 1896. The FIG governs seven disciplines: Gymnastics for All, Men's Artistic, Women's Artistic, Rhythmic, Trampoline, Aerobic and Acrobatic Gymnastics. It counts 148 national member federations and boasts a 30-person staff at its international seat in Lausanne (SUI), home of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Prudential Center. Prudential Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 175 concerts, family shows and special events each year. Ranked in the Top 10 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and welcomes 1.75 million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and Facebook, and follow @PruCenter on Twitter.
USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to www.usagym.org.