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U.S. juniors sweep team, all-around titles on first day of artistic competition at 2022 Pan American Championships
posted on 07/14/2022

© Ricardo Bufolin

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (July 14, 2022) - U.S. gymnasts, bolstered by gold-medal-winning all-around performances from Fred Richard (Stoughton, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy) and Dulcy Caylor (Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre), swept the junior men's and women's team titles Thursday as the artistic gymnastics competition got under way at the 2022 Pan American Championships. Tiana Sumanasekera (Pleasanton, Calif./West Valley Gymnastics School) added a silver medal in the women's all-around, and U.S. athletes secured maximum representation in Saturday's apparatus finals when the two-gymnasts-per-country limit was applied.

In a repeat of 2021, the Americans dominated the team competition, stretching their combined advantage to nearly 20 points across the men's and women's divisions. The women outpaced runner-up Canada 157.266-146.899, while Argentina rounded out the top three with a 146.067. On the men's side, U.S. athletes delivered a cumulative 234.750 to claim gold. Canada finished second with a 225.850, and host Brazil (224.000) landed third.

Richard successfully defended his 2021 men's all-around title. He was the only gymnast to eclipse the 80-point mark, accumulating a standout 82.200 across all six apparatus. Colombia's Angel Gabriel Barajas Vivas (76.350) and Keynher Camilo Vera Carrascal (76.100) also finished on the podium. Toby Liang (Roswell, Ga./Roswell Gymnastics) and Cole Partridge (Bountiful, Utah/USA Gymnastics World) split fourth with matching scores of 75.450. Nathan Roman (Poway, Calif./Agility Kids) was 12th with a 73.550.

Junior All-Around Champions Fred Richard and Dulcy Caylor
© Ricardo Bufolin
In the women's all-around, Caylor topped the scoresheet in her first international appearance. Her 51.666 just nosed teammate Sumanasekera who captured silver with a 51.567. Despite posting the third-highest all-around score (51.433) of the day, Alicia Zhou (San Antonio, Texas/Loves Gymnastics) was ineligible for the bronze medal due to the two-gymnast-per-country rule, and Argentina's Isabella Ayelen Ajalla (50.934) snuck into the third spot in the official standings. Audrey Snyder (Annapolis, Md./First State Gymnastics), who was called into action as a traveling reserve, posted the day's fifth-highest all-around total, garnering a 50.767.

Richard advanced to the pommel horse (14.050), still rings (13.250), vault (13.975), parallel bars (13.700) and horizontal bar (13.550) finals in the top spot and was second on floor exercise with a 13.450. He'll be joined by Liang in the pommel horse (12.450), vault (13.525) and high bar (12.500) finals, while Partridge will compete Saturday on floor (12.850), rings (12.500) and parallel bars (12.850).

Sumanasekera set the bar on vault (13.833), balance beam (13.700) and floor exercise (13.300). Caylor will join her in the vault (13.650) and beam (13.133) finals. Zhou (13.133) and Snyder (12.367) notched the top-two scores on uneven bars, and Zhou also earned a spot in the floor final with 13.000.

Junior event finals are set to begin Saturday at 9 a.m. ET with the men's floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings and women's vault and uneven bars titles up for grabs in the first session. The men's parallel bars, horizontal bar and vault and women's floor exercise and balance beam champions will be crowned later in the day, starting at 4:10 p.m. ET.

U.S. seniors will get their first taste of action Friday at Brazil's Parque Olimpico - Arena Carioca 01. Individual all-around and apparatus titles will be awarded, and the top teams will qualify to Sunday's men's and women's senior team finals. The U.S. women will compete with Subdivision 1 and will lead off on uneven bars at 7:40 a.m. ET. The men will take the floor with Subdivision 3, beginning on still rings at 1:51 p.m. ET.