INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 8, 2010 – 2008 Olympic team bronze-medalist Joey Hagerty of Albuquerque, N.M; RJ Heflin of Houston; and 2010 U.S. Horizontal Bar silver-medalist Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y., will represent the USA at the Toyota Cup, a two-day, individual event in Aichi, Japan on Dec. 11-12.
Hagerty, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and is returning from shoulder surgery, will compete on parallel bars and horizontal bar. Houston Gymnastics Academy’s Heflin, who is making his senior international debut, will compete on floor exercise and pommel horse. Ruggeri, who competes for the University of Illinois and was the alternate for the 2010 U.S. Men’s World Championships Team, will compete on floor, vault, parallel bars and high bar. The coaches are Justin Spring and Nori Iwai.
The 10-country field features five 2010 World Championship medalist including World all-around champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan; parallel bars champion Feng Zhe and high bar champion Zhang Chenglong, both of China; vault champion Thomas Bouhail of France; floor bronze-medalist Daniel Purvis and pommel horse silver-medalist Louis Smith, both of Great Britain.
The competition schedule is: Saturday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m. JST – men’s floor, pommel horse and still rings; Sunday, Dec. 12, 2 p.m. JST – men’s vault, parallel bars, high bar. Japanese Standard Time is 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Six junior national team members will also be in Tokyo, Japan, from Dec. 5-12 to attend a training camp: Wyatt Aycock of Orlando (Fla.) Metro; Kevin Ko of El Cerrito, Calif./Golden Bears Gymnastics; Jake Martin of Oviedo, Fla./Orlando Metro; Cale Robinson of Knoxville, Tenn./Premier Athletic; Jacoby Rubin of Buffalo Grove (Ill.) Gymnastics; and Jordan Valdez of Louisville, Colo./Xtreme Altitude Gymnastics. Phil Savage and Leo Krivitsky are the coaches.
Toyota Cup Men’s Roster
Australia – Thomas Pichler, Prashanth Sellathurai
China – Feng Zhe, Yan Mingyong, Zhang Chenglong
Finland – Tomi Tuuha
France – Thomas Bouhail
Great Britain – Louis Smith, Daniel Purvis
Germany – Thomas Taranu, Brian Gladow, Robert Weber; Hong Kong – Shek Wai Hung
Korea – Kim Soo Myun, Ha Chang Ju, Yang Hak Seon
Russia – Emin Garibov, Denis Ablyazin, Andrei Cherkasov
United States – Joseph Hagerty, R.J. Heflin, Paul Ruggeri
Japan – Kohei Uchimura, Koji Yamamuro, Koji Uematsu, Kazuhito Tanaka, Kenya Kobayashi, Tatsuki Nakashima