ANTWERP, Belgium (October 3, 2023) – Capping a roller-coaster competition, Team USA vaulted from fourth to third in the final two rotations to win the men’s team bronze medal Tuesday night at the FIG Artistic World Championships.
With their performance, Asher Hong (Tomball, Texas/Stanford University), Paul Juda (Deerfield, Ill./University of Michigan), Yul Moldauer (Arvada, Colo./5280 Gymnastics), Fred Richard (Stoughton, Mass./University of Michigan) and Khoi Young (Bowie, Md./Stanford University) claimed the just the fourth-ever team medal for the U.S. men at this event and the first medal since 2014.
In a competition that started with a great floor routine from Moldauer and ended with a thrilling high bar routine from Richard, the U.S. finished with a score of 252.428 to secure the bronze medal. Japan won gold with a 255.594, followed by China in second with a 253.794 overall, while Great Britain (249.461) and Switzerland (244.426) rounded out the top five.
Each athlete contributed to the team score on each apparatus. Moldauer had the highest U.S. score on parallel bars with a 14.933 and tied with Richard on floor exercise with a pair of 14.366, while Young led the Americans on pommel horse with a 13.600. Hong had the best score on still rings with a 14.000 and had his best Ri Se Gwang landing on vault for a 15.100. On the last rotation, Richard brought it home on horizontal bar, sticking his landing to score a 14.533 to overtake Great Britain. Juda was the embodiment of consistency, posting solid scores across the board and hitting every routine in both qualifying and the final, including a vault score of 14.400 Tuesday night.
The men don’t have much time to rest, however. Later this week in individual competition, Richard and Hong will compete in the all-around, while Richard also will compete on floor and Hong and Moldauer will be on parallel bars. Young is the #2 qualifier on pommel horse and will make an appearance in the vault final, and Juda is in the finals on vault and horizontal bar.
The women’s team is next up on podium watch for the country in Antwerp. On Wednesday, Simone Biles (Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre), Skye Blakely (Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics), Shi Jones (Auburn, Wash./Ascend Gymnastics Center), Joscelyn Roberson (Texarkana, Texas/World Champions Centre) and Leanne Wong (Overland Park, Kan./University of Florida Gymnastics) look to secure the seventh-consecutive team gold medal for the U.S. at the World Championships.