INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Defending Tyson American Cup champion Jonathan Horton of Houston, 2006 U.S. all-around bronze-medalist Guillermo Alvarez of Denver and two-time world team silver-medalist Raj Bhavsar of Houston, join Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo., on the U.S. Men’s Team that will compete in the 2007 Tyson American Cup at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. Artemev, the 2006 pommel horse world bronze medalist, was invited to compete in late 2006.
“Each of these men has considerable international experience and complete a strong U.S. Team,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Jonathan won the Tyson American Cup last year and all four have competed in a World Championships. We expect our men and women to make a strong showing against a very talented international field.”
A strong international field has also been announced, headlined by 2006 all-around and vault world bronze-medalist Fabian Hambuechen of Germany and 2006 team world gold-medalist Zhou Zhuoru of China. Featuring seven world medalists and six Olympians, this year’s international field is comprised of gymnasts from Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine.
In addition to his bronze medal, Alvarez placed third in the all-around for two consecutive years at the Winter Cup Challenge (2006-07). He was a member of the 2006 U.S. World Championships Team and won a team gold medal at the 2006 France/Switzerland/USA meet.
Artemev won the USA’s first world pommel horse medal since 1979 when he finished third at the 2006 World Championships. He is also the reigning U.S. champion in the all-around and on the pommel horse and parallel bars.
Some of the sport’s biggest names are former American Cup all-around gold medalists, including: men – Jason Gatson, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), Tim Daggett, Peter Vidmar, Mitsuo Tsukahara (Japan), Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner; and women – Carly Patterson, Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Stella Zakarova (USSR) and Nadia Comaneci (Romania). At last year’s event, Americans Jonathan Horton of Houston and Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, each earned the title of 2006 American Cup champion.
In addition to its sponsorship of the Tyson American Cup, Tyson is powering gymnasts by providing high-quality chicken, beef and pork to the USA Gymnastics National Training Center in Huntsville, Texas. Tyson’s protein-filled products help these talented athletes to develop and maintain the strength and endurance they need to perform at elite events, such as the Tyson American Cup and the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing.
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