O’Keefe, Malabuyo strike gold in Japan
posted on 09/18/2017

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Sept. 18, 2017– Maile O’Keefe of Las Vegas/Salcianu Elite Academy of Gymnastics, and Emma Malabuyo of Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, won the balance beam and floor exercise gold medals, respectively, on the final day of competition at the International Junior Gymnastics Competition at the Yokohama (Japan) Cultural Gymnasium. Brody Malone of Summerville of Ga./Cartersville Twisters, won the silver medal on the horizontal bar, and Kevin Penev of Penfield, N.Y./RGA finished fourth on vault.

In total, the U.S. won nine event medals: gold – balance beam (O’Keefe), floor exercise (Malabuyo); silver– vault, uneven bars and floor exercise (O’Keefe), balance beam (Malabuyo), horizontal bar (Malone); and bronze – vault and uneven bars (Malabuyo).

In Japan, the U.S. women landed on the podium in each of the four event finals. On vault, O’Keefe tallied a 14.183 to win the silver medal, and Malabuyo claimed the bronze (14.150). The title went to Russia’s Angelina Simakova (14.433).

O’Keefe placed second on the uneven bars with her 14.033, and Malabuyo’s 13.933 captured the bronze medal. China’s Yile Chen was the champion at 14.166.

In the balance beam final, O’Keefe’s 14.400 clinched the gold medal. Malabuyo and Canada’s Anne-Marie Padurariu tied for silver with matching scores of 14.333.

Malabuyo and O’Keefe finished one-two on floor exercise scoring 14.066 and 13.600, respectively. Qi Li of China and Chiaki Hatakeda of Japan tied for third with a pair of 13.533’s.

For the men, Malone earned the horizontal bar silver medal with his 13.250. Japan’s Kakuto Murayama posted the top score (13.600), and Brazil’s Diego Soares finished third (13.200).

Carlos Yulo of the Philippines took the vault title (14.325), followed by Japan’s Shiga Tachigana (14.300). Great Britain’s Jake Jarman placed third (14.225). Penev, who finished fourth, just missed the podium at 13.925, and Malone earned a 13.450 to finish in sixth.

Malone placed fourth in the parallel bars final with his 13.100. Japan’s Teppei Miwa and Shiga Tachibana finished first and second, at 13.850 and 13.750, respectively. Russia’s Vladislav Gudz was the bronze medalist (13.450).

Weide Su of China won the floor exercise crown with his 14.300. Yulo was the silver medalist (14.250), followed by Murayama in third (14.200). Penev finished eighth (12.900).

On still rings, Canada’s Wiliam Emard sealed the title with his 13.900, finishing .100 ahead of China’s Yin Dehang. Shiga Tachibana of Japan was third (13.550).

Japan’s Taichi Adachi topped the pommel horse standings with his 14.000, followed by teammate Shiga Tachibana (13.850). China’s Yin Dehang took the bronze at 13.550. Penev finished eighth (12.500).

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.