Note: The men’s team finals will air LIVE in the U.S. on Aug. 11 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC
BEIJING, Aug. 11, 2008 – The U.S. Olympic Team for men’s gymnastics will be in the medal hunt in the men’s team finals at the 2008 Olympic Games on Aug. 12 at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China. The top eight countries from the qualification round square off in the team finals: defending world team champion China, Germany, France, 2004 Olympic team gold-medalist Japan, Romania, Russia and South Korea, as well as the USA. Competition begins at 10 a.m. local Beijing time, and will be shown live on NBC Sports in the United States.
Although scores from the qualification round do not carry forward to the finals, the USA’s score of 365.200 was just more than one point off of Russia’s third place tally of 366.225. China, which finished at the top of the rankings in the qualification round at 374.675, won the team title at both the 2006 and 2007 World championships. Japan, second in the team qualification rankings with a 369.550, was the team silver medalist in 2007 and the bronze medalist in 2006 at the World Championships. Russia and Germany were the world team bronze medalists in 2006 and 2007, respectively. At the 2004 Olympic Games, the U.S. men earned the team silver medal. Japan was the team champion, with Romania claiming the bronze medal.
"Our men have definite medal potential," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "We have a talented and dedicated group of men, and we are confident in their ability to represent our country at the highest level."
The U.S. Olympic Team for men’s gymnastics includes: Alexander Artemev of Highlands Ranch, Colo./Team Chevron; Raj Bhavsar of Houston/Team Chevron; Joseph Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M./Team Chevron; Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Chevron; Justin Spring of Burke, Va./Team Chevron; and Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif./Team Chevron. The replacement athlete is David Durante of Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron.
The competition format for the final round is that six gymnasts are on a team, three athletes compete on each event and all three scores count toward the team score. The U.S. Team’s line up for team finals is listed below in competition order.
- Still rings: Raj Bhavsar, Jonathan Horton, Kevin Tan
- Vault: Raj Bhavsar, Jonathan Horton, Justin Spring
- Parallel bars: Raj Bhavsar, Jonathan Horton, Justin Spring
- Horizontal bar: Joey Hagerty, Jonathan Horton, Justin Spring
- Floor exercise: Justin Spring, Joey Hagerty, Jonathan Horton
- Pommel horse: Kevin Tan, Raj Bhavsar, Alexander Artemev