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Maroney wins vault gold medal at 2011 World Championships
posted on 10/15/2011
Photos by John Cheng

TOKYO, Japan, Oct. 15, 2011 - McKayla Maroney of Laguna Niguel, Calif./All Olympia AOGC became just the third American woman to claim a World vault title Saturday night, Oct. 15, inside the Tokyo (Japan) Metropolitan Gymnasium at the 2011 World Championships. Maroney's gold is the third of these championships for the Americans and the third consecutive world vault title for Team USA following Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, in 2010 and Kayla Williams in 2009.

The World Championships conclude on Oct. 16 with the final day of the individual event finals, when four U.S. gymnasts will compete for titles on the men's parallel bars and high bar and the women's balance beam and floor exercise.

Today's competition began with the men's floor exercise final, where Jake Dalton of Norman, Okla./University of Oklahoma, a late replacement for Romania's Marian Dragulescu, started the Americans off. His first pass, an Arabian double layout, went out of bounds, but he recovered quickly executing a clean back one-and-a-half to front double full and a nearly stuck triple full dismount for a 15.133 and eighth place.

Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma), followed his Sooner teammate, recording a 15.400. The three-time World floor finalist finished fifth, his highest ever, for his routine that included an original two-and-a-half twisting double back and Arabian double pike full out. World all-around champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan added to his medal haul taking the title with a 15.633, while China's Zou Kai took the silver (15.500) with Diego Hypolito of Brazil and Alexander Shatilov of Israel tied for the bronze medal with matching scores of 15.466.

Maroney, sixth up in the women's vault final, performed her trademark two-and-a-half twisting Yurchenko first. Her second vault, a Yurchenko half-on, front layout off, was nearly flawless, as she stuck the landing and secured the gold medal. Maroney's two-vault average, a 15.300, was nearly .600 better than Germany's Oksana Chusovitina, 36 years old, who finished in second with 14.733 and Vietnam's Thi Ha Thanh Phan took the bronze medal, scoring 14.666.

"It feels amazing to be the best vaulter in the world. Alicia (Sacramone) told me to be aggressive and that's what I tried to do," said Maroney. "I am so happy."

On the pommel horse, the only event without an American in the field, Hungary's Krisztian Berki claimed the top spot (15.833), followed by France's Cyril Tommasone (15.266) and Great Britain's Louis Smith (15.066).

The fourth of the event of the night was the uneven bars where Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute, was the first competitor. Douglas hit her foot on the low bar after her Tkatchev but maintained her composure and successfully completed her routine, receiving a 14.200 and fifth place.

Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA, who won the all-around gold medal on Thursday, delivered a solid routine, whichincluded two Weiler kips to a Shaposhnikova and a nearly stuck double layout dismount. Her 14.500 was good enough for fourth place. Russia's Victoria Komova and Tatiana Nabieva scored 15.500 and 15.000, respectively, to take the top two spots. China's Huang Qiushuang finished third with a 14.833.

The final American to compete was Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Academy), on the still rings. Horton showed precise strength moves including an Azarian Maltese to an Azarian iron cross but picked up swing in the middle of his routine, causing him to struggle slightly up to handstand. His score, a 14.300, placed him in seventh. China's Chen Yibing, the three-time World Champion on the event, picked up his fourth World title with a 15.800. Brazilian Arthur Zanetti took silver with a 15.600 and Koji Yamamuro of Japan won the bronze with a 15.500.

Fans can follow the action at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships via the web, cable TV and network television. Universal Sports will carry a live webcast of the finals, as well as same-day coverage on its cable network. In addition, usagym.org will have photos andupdates from Tokyo, with expanded coverage of "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team presented by AT&T." NBC Sports will broadcast coverage of the World Championships on Oct. 15-16.

Here's a quick overview of the various ways to watch and follow the U.S. Team's performances at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.

  • Live webcast. UniversalSports.com will have a live webcast of the team, all-around and individual event finals from Tokyo for $19.99. For U.S. Eastern Daylight Savings time, the final live webcast is scheduled for Oct. 16 – individual event finals, 1 a.m. (NOTE: Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of New York City; when it is midnight in Tokyo, it is 11 a.m. in New York.)

  • Cable TV. Universal Sports will show all of the finals on its cable network during prime time. At 8 p.m. ET each day, Universal Sports will show the individual event finals on Oct. 15-16. The women's team final will air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 15, and the women's all-around final, with men's highlights, will air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 16.

  • NBC. NBC Sports' coverage of the World Championships will broadcast the women's team final at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, and the women's all-around final at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16.

  • "Behind the Team." "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team presented by AT&T" will provide expanded coverage from the World Championships, including John Macready's take on the championships and Tokyo, interviews, and more. To enjoy this added coverage, you can go to att.net/teamusa or access it from usagym.org.

  • Usagym.org will provide enhanced coverage from Tokyo that will include results and exclusive photos from the competition, as well as daily video interviews. USA Gymnastics will also post event updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Kohei Uchimura, CHN - 15.633
2. Zou Kai, CHN - 15.500
3. Diego Hypolito, BRA - 15.466
3. Alexander Shatilov, ISR - 15.466
U.S. Finishes
5. Steven Legendre, USA - 15.400
8. Jake Dalton, USA - 15.133

Men's Pommel Horse
1. Krisztian Berki, HUN - 15.833
2. Cyril Tommasone , FRA - 15.266
3. Louis Smith, GBR - 15.066

Men's Still Rings
1. Chen Yibing, CHN - 15.800
2. Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti, BRA - 15.600
3. Koji Yamamuro, CHN - 15.500
U.S. Finish
7. Jonathan Horton, USA - 14.300

Women's Vault
1. McKayla Maroney, USA - 15.300
2. Oksana Chusovitina, GER -
3. Thi Ha Than Phan, VIE - 14.666

Women's Uneven Bars
1. Victoria Komova, RUS - 15.500
2. Tatiana Nabieva, RUS - 15.000
3. Huang Qiushuang, CHN - 14.833
U.S. Finishes
4. Jordyn Wieber, USA - 14.500
5. Gabrielle Douglas, USA - 14.200