Townsend, Hamm and McCain Advance to All-Around Finals


Ghent, Belgium – The U.S. Men’s World Championships Team turned in an impressive performance to finish second in the men’s qualification of the 2001 World Gymnastics Championships. The U.S. team scored 221.420, just behind Belarus who finished first with 222.132. Finishing in third was Korea with 220.857.

“Tonight was really good for us,” said 2001 U.S. National Champion Sean Townsend following the competition. “We just wanted to fight hard through the first day. We know the field is wide open. It was awesome that the crowd got into it. It really motivates us and makes us want to show off our gymnastics.”
“Our team is filled with talented guys and we have great chemistry within the team,” said 2000 Olympian Paul Hamm. “This places us well, but it’s all about hitting in the finals. It’s been a hard road for me to get here (with my ankle injury), but it is so worth it.”
The qualification round (competition I) is extremely important as it advances gymnasts to the team finals (competition IV), all-around competition (competition II) and the event finals (competition III).
Men’s qualification wrapped up Monday afternoon, as there were ten subdivisions and 40 teams in the draw. The U.S. men competed Sunday evening. Men’s team members include Raj Bhavsar (Houston, Texas/Ohio State University), Paul Hamm (Waukesha, Wis./Swiss Turners), Stephen McCain (Houston, Texas/USOTC), Brett McClure (Mill Creek, Wash./USOTC), Sean Townsend (Houston, Texas/Houston Gymnastics Academy) and Guard Young (Norman, Okla./University of Oklahoma).
The men will compete Wednesday in Ghent in the team finals competition against countries who finished in the top eight of qualification (previously only six teams advanced in World Championship competition). These countries include Belarus, Korea, Romania, Ukraine, France, China and Russia. Women’s team finals follow. For the first time ever, a 6-3-3 (previously 6-5-4) format will be used in team finals, which means that a team is composed of a maximum six gymnasts, three of which perform on an apparatus and all three scores count.
U.S. Team members advancing to the all-around are Townsend, Hamm and McCain. All three are 2000 Olympians. The top 32 individual gymnasts from qualification advance to the all-around finals and it will take place on Thursday, November 1.
The best eight scores per apparatus from qualification advance to the event finals. Apparatus finals are scheduled for November 3 and 4.