KATY, Texas, Jan. 22, 2017 – Team USA won seven medals in the event finals on the final day of the 2017 RD761 International Junior Team Cup at Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. Paul Juda of Deerfield, Ill./Buffalo Grove Gymnastics Center, won the floor exercise and vault gold medals. Brandon Briones of Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center, brought home five medals: silver for floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings; and bronze for parallel bars and horizontal bar.
Juda won the floor exercise crown with his 13.800. Briones tied for silver with Japan’s Shiga Tachibana at 13.700. Juda clinched his second gold medal on the vault with a 13.950. Canada’s William Emard finished second (13.875), followed by Tachibana in third (13.700)
On pommel horse, Briones captured the silver medal after scoring a 13.350. The title went to Britain’s Joshua Nathan (13.400). Tachibana was third (12.450). Briones also claimed the silver medal on still rings with a score of 13.100. Emard was the champion with 13.500. Miwa and Tachibana tied for third at 12.900. Briones wrapped up his competition by capturing the bronze medal in both the parallel bars (12.950) and horizontal bar (12.900) finals. Miwa was the parallel bars champion with a 13.800. Tachibana placed second (13.200). The horizontal bar title went to Japan’s Kakuto Murayama (13.200). Tachibana claimed the silver medal with a score of 13.000
On Friday, the USA won the team bronze and the all-around silver medals. The USA was second in the overall medal count behind Japan. Japan totaled 12 medals, and the USA captured nine medals during the two-day competition. Great Britain and Canada tied for third with two medals each overall.
The members of the U.S. squad are: Justin Ah Chow of Miami, Fla./Universal Gymnastics; Briones; Juda; Ian Lasic-Ellis of Dover, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy; and Colt Walker of Cedar Park, Texas/Acro Tex Gymnastics. Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics’ Levon Karakhanyan and Buffalo Grove Gymnastics Center’s Leo Krivitsky are the U.S. men’s coaches for the event.
The RD761 International Junior Team Cup is named in honor of U.S. Junior National Team member Ricky Deci, who tragically passed away in 2001. The annual RD761 age group invitational competition supports the Ricky Deci Memorial Fund, which in turn funds a USA Gymnastics elite development training camp held each summer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. For more information, go to rd761.com.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to www.usagym.org.