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U.S. men claim junior and senior team titles at 2022 DTB Pokal Team Challenge
posted on 03/18/2022

© Qingwei Chen

STUTTGART, Germany, March 18, 2022 - U.S. athletes secured the men's junior and senior team titles Friday on the opening day of the 2022 DTB Pokal Team Challenge and Mixed Cup at Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany. The junior men rolled to the gold medal, finishing a full five points ahead of runner up Germany, while the seniors edged a surging Italian team in the final rotation to secure the American sweep. Based on today's performances, U.S. gymnasts also secured spots in all junior and senior men's apparatus finals, which will close out the men's competition Saturday.

In the senior division, Winter Cup all-around champion Vitaliy Guimaraes (Arvada, Colo./University of Oklahoma), first-year senior Asher Hong (Tomball, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics), 2020 Olympians Brody Malone (Belfast, Tenn./Stanford University) and Yul Moldauer (Wellington, Colo./5280 Gymnastics), and Stanford freshman Khoi Young (Bowie, Md.) delivered a cumulative 249.100 in a four-up-three-count format to clip the Italian team (247.800) by just over a point. Host-country Germany was third with a 241.800.

Hong led the way on floor exercise (14.550), still rings (14.250) and parallel bars (14.200), advancing to tomorrow's apparatus finals on each. Young paced the field on pommel horse with a 14.750 and vault with a 14.475 (15.000, 13.950), qualifying to both finals in the top spot. Meanwhile, Malone's 14.800 on horizontal bar separated him from all other competitors by more than a point. The reigning World bronze medalist on the apparatus will look to keep the momentum going during tomorrow's final. Moldauer picked up top-five finishes on floor (14.400), pommel horse (13.850) and rings (13.750) but did not advance beyond Day 1 due to the one-athlete-per-country limit. Similarly, Malone claimed the second-highest score on rings with a 13.800, but was edged out of the final by teammate Hong.

© Qingwei Chen

Juniors Toby Liang (Roswell, Ga./Roswell Gymnastics), Vahe Petrosyan (Van Nuys, California, Gymnastics Olympica USA), Fred Richard (Stoughton, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy), David Shamah (McKinney, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics) and Kai Uemura (Chicago, Ill./Lakeshore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics) posted a collective 235.250 en route to the division title. Teams from Germany (230.000) and Italy (229.200) rounded out the top three junior squads.

Petrosyan notched the high score on horizontal bar with a 13.000 and also secured spots in the pommel horse (12.750) and still rings (13.400) finals. Richard topped the field on vault with even 14s across the board, floor exercise (13.700) and parallel bars (13.950). Both gymnasts will look to add hardware to their DTB Pokal medal hauls during Saturday's individual event finals. U.S. juniors were also affected by the one-gymnast-per-country rule. They claimed the top-four scores on parallel bars, but Richard was the only American allowed to advance. Qualifying scores from Liang (12.850) and Uemura (12.700) on horizontal bar were eclipsed by Petrosyan, who also out-paced Richard's fifth-place finish on still rings (13.150).

The junior women's competition will kick off Day 2 tomorrow at 5 a.m. ET. World team members eMjae Frazier and Konnor McClain will lead a young and talented group of U.S. seniors at 8:45 a.m. ET. Junior and senior men's individual event finals will follow at 1:30 p.m. ET. Stream all of the action live here.