© John Cheng

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (July 16, 2022) – In some of the most heated and crowd-pleasing competitions of The World Games 2022, Team USA emerged with a pair of hard-earned and triumphant silver medals Saturday at BJCC Legacy Arena. Miah Bruns opened the evening’s competition with a runner-up finish in women’s tumbling, while the men’s acrobatic pair of Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall finished the night in the same spot on the medal stand.

The reigning World champions, Felix (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and McDougall (Riverside, Calif.) of Realis Gymnastics Academy laid down a 28.700 with their exhilarating combined routine in the final. The full arena cheered their performance with chants of "U-S-A," then roared as the score put them into first with two more pairs to compete.

The Ukranian team of Bohdan Pohranychnyi and Danylo Stetsiuk followed, delivering a 28.400 to emerge golden, with Felix and McDougall earning silver and Daniyel Dil and Vadim Shulyar of Kazakhstan finishing third with 28.520. The final results mirrored qualifying earlier in the day where the Americans (56.650) advanced in the second spot behind Ukraine (56.840). During the afternoon session, Felix and McDougall topped the field in the balance exercise (28.550) and were second in the dynamic exercise (28.100).

Bruns bold in silver-medal performance

In a thrilling women’s tumbling event that came down to the last pass of the competition, 2022 AERE World Cup champion Miah Bruns (Crete, Ill./World Champions Centre) finished second in a battle of superstar 18-year-olds.

Bruns’ first finals pass of 25.600 set a high bar, putting her nearly a full point ahead of France’s Candy Briere-Vetillard in second place (24.700) heading into a second, winner-take-all pass.

After a day of superb tumbling, Bruns saved her best for last, earning a 25.700 in her final pass – a performance that seemed nearly untouchable. But Briere-Vetillard was able to deliver an other-worldly performance of her own, garnering a 26.300. The two teens had matching execution scores of 18.800, but the Frenchwoman’s difficulty score of 7.5 solidified her spot on top of the podium. Breanah Cauchi of Australia earned bronze with a 24.400.

Bruns led in qualifying, with a phenomenal first pass scoring a 25.400 and second pass, hampered only by a step out on the landing, scoring a 25.100. Her combined total of 50.500 advanced her to the final in first place ahead of Briere-Vetillard, who notched a 50.000.

In the women’s group acrobatic gymnastics competition earlier in the day, Isabel Chang (Columbia, Md.), Sydney Martin (Glenwood, Md.) and Maria Wooden (Derwood, Md.) of Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer posted a score of 27.530 in the balance exercise and 27.170 in the dynamic exercise to finish fifth overall in qualifying with a total of 54.700. They fell just one position shy of advancing to the event final. With a 29.970 in the combined exercise, reigning World champions from Belgium Kim Bergmans, Lise de Meyst and Bo Hollebosch ultimately claimed gold.

The World Games competition concludes Sunday with Tristan Van Natta (Marysville, Ohio/Integrity Athletics) set to represent the U.S. in women’s double mini and Kaden Brown (Herriman, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling) ready to take on men’s tumbling.