Ghent, Belgium – Sean Townsend (Houston, Texas) scored a 9.7 to secure the parallel bars gold medal on the final day of the 2001 World Gymnastics Championships. Townsend earned the first U.S. men’s world gold medal since 1979 when Bart Conner won parallel bars and Kurt Thomas won floor exercise and high bar.
“This is very exciting and it was so important for me to come back and hit my routine as well as I did,” said Townsend. “Emotionally that was very important for me and this provides some redemption for not winning in the all-around. I wasn’t nervous today. I was just anxious to come back and do something really good because I didn’t want to go out like I did in the all-around. This team was just awesome and there is so much depth right now in our men’s program. Along with team, my goal was to do something personally too and I accomplished that today.”
“We’ve been on an emotional roller coaster this whole trip,” said Kevin Mazeika, Townsend’s coach. “The silver medal in team was amazing and then the all-around was so heartbreaking, so to come back and win this parallel bars gold just brings us right back up. Sean’s a great gymnast and he went out and proved it this evening. This is a great validation for all the hard work of the U.S. men’s program.”
Townsend’s performance brings the U.S. final medal count at the 2001 World Championships to four medals including an unprecedented men’s team silver, a women’s team bronze and an uneven bars bronze earned by Katie Heenan Saturday.