INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., November 9, 2020 – All eyes were on Tokyo this weekend, as six U.S. gymnasts took part in a friendly competition Sunday, November 8, at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. The Friendship and Solidarity event, which was hosted by the International Gymnastics Federation and also featured gymnasts from China, Japan and Russia, implemented strict COVID-19 safety protocols that could serve as a foundation for holding the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games slated to begin July 23, 2021.
Team Solidarity, which included American gymnasts eMjae Frazier, Shilese Jones and Paul Juda, topped Team Friendship and U.S. gymnasts Sophia Butler, Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus by a score of 423.600 to 421.300. Shilese Jones’s double-twisting Yurchenko bested the field on women’s vault, earning a score of 14.800 from the judges.
Athletes were able to choose which events they wanted to participate in, and only the three highest scores recorded per apparatus per team were included in the team’s overall score.
Out of an abundance of caution and after collecting input from athletes, U.S. officials cancelled the 2020 premier event season in May in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While the Friendship and Solidarity event provided an exciting opportunity for U.S. gymnasts to return to a competition environment, they will continue to work toward peaking in 2021 ahead of next year’s premier events and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Individual event scores
- Juda: floor exercise, 13.800; pommel horse, 13.400; still rings, 13.000; vault, 14.400; parallel bars, 13.200; horizontal bar, 11.500.
- Moldauer: pommel horse, 14.200; parallel bars, 14.000; horizontal bar, 12.100.
- Wiskus: floor exercise, 14.200; pommel horse, 12.700; parallel bars, 14.000; horizontal bar, 12.700.
- Butler: floor exercise, 12.400; vault, 13.500; balance beam, 12.500.
- Frazier: vault, 14.400; balance beam, 11.600.
- Jones: vault, 14.800; balance beam, 12.000.