Men's field is set for the 2007 Visa Championships
posted on 06/28/2007

Alexander Artemev, Photo AA(C) Casey Gibson
© Steve Lange

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 28, 2007 – The field for the men’s artistic gymnastics competition at the 2007 Visa Championships, Aug. 15-18 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., includes 86 men competing in the junior and senior divisions.  2006 U.S. all-around champion Alexander Artemev of Team Chevron/Morrison, Colo., is set to defend his crown against a talented roster of veteran and rising gymnasts.  After the conclusion of the Visa Championships, the members of the 2007 World Championships Team and the 2007 Men’s National Team will be determined.


2006 U.S. still rings champion Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif./Team Chevron, is one of eight San Jose-area gymnasts slated to compete in the Visa Championships:  Kyle Bunthuwong of El Cerrito/Golden Bear Gymnastics (junior/16-18); Josh Dixon of San Jose/Champions Academy (junior/16-18); Eric Haeussler of Redwood City/San Mateo Gymnastics (junior/16-18); Jeffrey Langenstein of San Carlos/San Mateo Gymnastics (junior/14-15); Sho Nakamori of Albany/Stanford University; Neal Thompson of Belmont/San Mateo Gymnastics (junior/16-18); and Christopher Turner of Fremont/WCOGA (junior/14-15).


At the 2006 World Championships, Artemev became the first U.S. man to win a pommel horse medal since 1979 when he finished third.  All five of Artemev’s teammates on the 2006 World Championships Team are included in the Visa Championships field: Guillermo Alvarez of Denver/Team Chevron; Jonathan Horton of Houston/University of Oklahoma; David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill./Stanford University; Clay Strother of Jasper, Texas/Team Chevron; and Tan.  In addition, the six men competing in the 2007 Pan Am Games are also scheduled to compete:  David Durante of Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron; Sean Golden of Camden, N.J./Gattaca; Joseph Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M./Team Chevron; Justin Spring of Burke, Va./Team Chevron; Todd Thornton of Houston/Team Chevron; and Alvarez.


Three members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team that won the team silver medal are expected to return to competitive gymnastics at the 2007 Visa Championships:  twins Morgan and Paul Hamm of Waukesha, Wis., and Blaine Wilson of Columbus, Ohio. Their petition to compete has been approved, pending demonstration of competitive readiness.  At the 2004 Olympics, Paul Hamm became the first U.S. man to win the all-around Olympic crown.  Both Hamms were also members of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team, and Wilson is a three-time Olympian (1996, 2000 and 2004).


The field breaks down into 48 seniors and 38 juniors, 19 in each of the two junior categories, 14-15 and 16-18 years of age.  Nineteen states are represented in the men’s competition. The complete field is listed below.


The senior men qualified for the Visa Championships via several different avenues: a member of the current senior national team; finished in the top six from the USA in the all-around at the 2007 NCAA Championships; the top 24 athletes from the U.S. Men’s Qualifier based on the approved points system; and the top three athletes on each event at the U.S. Men’s Qualifier. Some athletes successfully petitioned the Men’s Program Committee for inclusion. The qualification options for the juniors were based on performances at the 2007 Winter Cup Challenge, 2007 Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships and the 2007 U.S. Men’s Qualifier.


The U.S. champions for men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics are determined at the Visa Championships, gymnastics’ national championships.  Artistic gymnastics will be held at HP Pavilion at San Jose, and rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics are set for the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, held in conjunction with the Visa Championships, will also be at the San Jose McEnery <