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TOKYO, Japan, Oct. 16, 2011 – Danell Leyva of Homestead, Fla./Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics), won the parallel bars World title at the 2011 World Championships on Sunday, Oct. 16, inside the Tokyo (Japan) Metropolitan Gymnasium. The gold medal is the first for the men of Team USA since Paul Hamm claimed the floor exercise and all-around titles in 2003 in Anaheim, Calif.
Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA, balance beam, and Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, floor exercise, added bronze medals to Team USA’s medal haul, giving the Americans seven medals at these championships, including four gold.
Today’s competition began with the men’s vault, the only event without an American in the field today, Korea’s Hak Seon Yang performed an impressive handspring triple twist to capture the gold medal with an average score of 16.566. Russia’s Anton Golotsutskov won his second, consecutive silver medal on the event, scoring 16.366, while Makoto Okiguchi of Japan took the bronze (16.291).
On beam, Wieber was solid, executing a front aerial to one-armed back handspring to layout stepout, a back full to back handspring, a nearly stuck two-and-a-half twisting dismount, earning a 15.133 and the bronze medal.
Wieber said, "I’ve been having really strong routines and to come into finals and hit another one was really exciting."
Raisman, who finished fourth with a 15.066, barely wavered throughout her routine, which included a front pike to layout stepout, a back handspring to two-foot layout and stuck Patterson dismount. China took the gold and silver medals with Sui Lu in first place, scoring 15.866, and Yao Jinnan earning a 15.233 for silver.
The third final of the evening was on the parallel bars where Leyva, who was unable to complete his horizontal bar in the all-around competition, closed his World Championships in style. He worked smoothly through an intricate peach to Diamidov, a peach full, a giant Diamidov-half and stuck his double pike dismount. His routine earned him a 15.633 and the gold medal, the first on the event for Team USA at the World Championships since Sean Townsend in 2001. Greece’s Vasileios Tsolakidis and Zhang Chenglong of China tied for the silver medal, scoring 15.533.
"It’s one of the most amazing feelings, especially to come back after the all-around final and do a great routine," Leyva said. "It feels awesome."
Wieber opened the floor exercise final with an energetic routine, which included a tuck double double mount, a one-and-a-half through to a triple full, and a stuck double pike dismount. She earned a 14.700 and finished in sixth place.
Raisman tumbled a one-and-a-half to double Arabian punch front, a piked Arabian double, a triple full and a double pike to earn a 15.000, giving her the bronze medal, the first individual World Championships medal of her career.
"I’m really excited and honored to be here," Raisman said. "I’m glad I could finish it up on a strong note."
Russia’s Kensia Afanaseva won the gold medal with a 15.133 and China’s Sui Lu the silver, scoring 15.066.
The last American to compete in Tokyo was John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./U.S. Olympic Training Center, on the high bar. The 19-year old, competing in his first Worlds, had a slight error on this full Takamoto but recovered well, finishing his routine with a layout full twisting double dismount to score a 14.133 and finish in eighth place. Orozco went 17-for-17 throughout his four days of competition in Japan. As on women’s balance beam, China claimed the top two spots with Zou Kai (16.441) and Zhang (16.366) taking gold and silver, respectively. World all-around champion Kohei Uchimura won the bronze with a 16.333.
Fans can catch the action at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships via the web, cable TV and network television. Universal Sports will carry same-day coverage on its cable network. In addition, usagym.org will have photos and updates from Tokyo, with expanded coverage of "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team presented by AT&T." NBC Sports will broadcast coverage of the World Championships on Oct. 16.
1. Hak Seon Yang, KOR – 16.566
2. Anton Golotsutskov, RUS – 16.366
3. Makoto Okiguchi, JPN – 16.291
Women’s Balance Beam
1. Sui Lu, CHN – 15.866
2. Yao Jinnan, CHN – 15.233
3. Jordyn Wieber, USA – 15.133
Other U.S. finish
4. Alexandra Raisman – 15.066
Men’s Parallel Bars
1. Danell Leyva, USA – 15.633
2. Vasileios Tsolakidis, GRE – 15.533
2. Zhang Chenglong, CHN – 15.533
Women’s Floor Exercise
1. Kseniia Afanaseva, RUS – 15.133
2. Sui Lu, CHN – 15.066
3. Alexandra Raisman, USA – 15.000
Other U.S. finish
6. Jordyn Wieber – 14.700
Men’s High Bar
1. Zou Kai, CHN – 16.441
2. Zhang Chenglong, CHN – 16.366
3. Kohei Uchimura, JPN – 16.333
8. John Orozco – 14.133