© Ricardo Bufolin

BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 10, 2022 – U.S. acrobats advanced to all eligible finals Thursday on the first day of qualifications for the 2022 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The U.S. men’s pair of Angel Felix of Moreno Valley, Calif., and Braiden McDougall of Riverside, Calif., (Realis Gymnastics Academy) led the field in the balance (28.250) and dynamic (28.080) exercises, advancing to Friday’s combined final in the top spot with a 56.330. Kazakhstan’s Daniyel Dil and Vadim Shulyar (55.560) and Portugal’s Fabio Beco and Bruno Ramalho (54.500) qualified in the second and third positions. Felix and McDougall will also compete in the men’s pair dynamic final Saturday and balance final Sunday.

Similarly, Katie Borcherding of Pacific, Mo., and Cierra McKown of Riverside, Calif., (Realis Gymnastics Academy) – the only U.S. pair in the women’s field – advanced to all eligible finals. Their 26.400 in balance and 26.140 in dynamic qualified them to tomorrow’s combined final in the fifth position with a 52.540. Portugal’s Rita Ferreira and Ana Teixeira claimed the day’s high score with a 56.600, while Kazakhstan’s Alexandra Rudakova and Talgat Damira (54.130) and Great Britain’s Amani Egbor and Zoey Nok (53.050) advanced in the second and third spots. Borcherding and McKown also secured places in Saturday’s women’s pair balance final and Sunday’s dynamic final.

In the women’s group dynamic qualifications, the California-based trio of Victoria Blante, Eily Corbett and Cassidy Cu (WestCoast Training Center) finished fifth with a 27.190, claiming their spot in Sunday’s women’s group dynamic final. Despite a sixth-place showing (26.840), Isabel Chang of Columbia, Md., Sydney Martin of Glenwood, Md., and Maria Wooden of Derwood, Md., (Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer) were unable to advance due to the one-group-per-country limit. Belgium’s Kim Bergmans, Lise de Meyst and Bo Hollebosch qualified in the top spot with a 28.830. Groups from Portugal (28.410) and Israel (27.540) were second and third, respectively. Women’s group qualifications continue with the balance exercise tomorrow at 1:30 a.m. ET at the Milli Gimnastika Arenasi.

The U.S. men’s group of Ethan Chang, Sam Lacy and Cade Shields of Columbia, Md., and Dorian White of Castro Valley, Calif., (Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer) posted a 24.350 in their World Championships debut to advance to the balance exercise final. Groups from Belgium (29.190), Great Britain (28.380) and Israel (28.260) delivered the day’s top scores. Qualifications for the men’s group dynamic exercise will be held Friday at 3:20 a.m. ET ahead of the combined finals.

Live scoring for the 2022 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships is available here. All event finals will stream live on the International Gymnastics Federation’s YouTube channel. Combined exercise finals begin Friday at 5:20 a.m. ET.