HONOLULU – Team USA closed out the 2004 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships presented by Outrigger Hotels in Honolulu, Hawai`i on Saturday, winning 44 medals during the three-day competition.
Paul Hamm and Carly Patterson led the charge which saw the U.S. Senior Men win seven medals and the U.S. Senior Women sweep the gold in the four event finals conducted Saturday. In all, Team USA captured 29 gold, 11 silver and four bronze. China finished second in the medal count with 22, and Canada third at 16.
"I was really happy with my performance today. I felt I was a lot better today than Thursday during the all-around and team," Hamm said. "I feel like I’m in good shape right now. I feel like I’m in a good position to make the Olympic Team. This whole trip was a good experience. I feel like I’m really on top of things right now."
Hamm (Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron-Ohio State) won gold on vault and high bar, silver on floor, and bronze on pommel horse and parallel bars. Brother Morgan (Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron-Ohio State) topped Paul for gold on floor and tied Paul for bronze on pommel horse. Jason Gatson added a silver on rings for the men.
Meanwhile, Alicia Sacramone (Winchester, Mass./Brestyan’s) backed up her recent bronze at the Rio World Cup with a gold on vault in Hawai`i. Katie Heenan (South Riding, Va./Capital) followed with gold on the uneven bars. Patterson (Allen, Texas/WOGA) kept the streak alive and the crowd gasping as she nailed her beam and floor routines for the sweep. All-around champ Allyse Ishino (Santa Ana, Calif./Charter Oaks) took second on the floor.
Junior all-around gold medalist Nastia Liukin (Plano, Texas/WOGA) earned three gold medals in bars, beam and floor, with teammate Jana Bieger (Coconut Creek, Fla./American Twisters) tying for gold on vault. Bieger later added a silver on beam, and Ashley Priess won silver on bars.
"This was a good way to wrap up the meet. I hit all my routines, one at a time, that’s what I was trying to do," Liukin said. "I’m definitely going to go back and work on my vault before Nationals, and make it more consistent, in order to become a stronger all-arounder."
Junior Men’s all-around champion Taqiy Abdullah scored floor exercise gold in his first event. But his run at five event finals was cut short on the vault, where Abdullah (Houston) sustained a proneal nerve injury to his left leg and was forced to withdraw from his remaining event finals. The injury, sometimes called a stinger, is not considered serious. Teammate Derek Helsby added a silver on the still rings.
In Senior Rythmic event finals, Mary Sanders (Toronto/Ritmika) made it a clean sweep picking up gold in the hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon events. Not to be outdone, Rachel Marmer (Los Angeles, Calif./LASG) swept the rope, ball, clubs and ribbon to add four golds to her all-around title.
In all, 28 event finals were conducted on Friday. For complete results of the 2004 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships, see PACIFIC ALLIANCE RESULTS & NEWS
Formed in 1981, the Pacific Alliance of National Gymnastics Federations was created to develop the sport of gymnastics among the member nations that are contiguous to the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships will be broadcast by NBC Sports from 1-3 p.m. ET on May 16.
Next on the domestic calendar is the Men’s U.S. Championships Qualifier, 3 p.m. MT April 24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. where the field for the U.S. Championships will be determined. The women will finalize their Championships entries at the U.S. Classic, May 15-16 in Rochester, N.Y.