FORT WORTH, Texas – Blaine Wilson (Columbus, Ohio) and Ukraine’s Viktoriya Karpenko emerged as the all-around gold medalists in the 23rd edition of the Visa American Cup, held at the Fort Worth Tarrant County Convention Center Arena Saturday afternoon.
"My mental set was to come in here and have a good time and hit sets," said Wilson, who successfully defended his 1997 title. "That’s what I did. Mentally, it sort of just clicked with me. If you don’t think you’re as good as everyone else, then you might as well sit in the stands."
Wilson established his control on the gold medal early, scoring 9.650 on the first two events, pommel horse and still rings. He concluded the afternoon with a score of 57.325, 1.525 points ahead of Russian Alexei Bondarekno’s 55.800. Dimitri Karbanenko of France took the bronze with a 54.850.
The women’s gold medal wasn’t decided until the final routine, when Karpenko posted the highest score of the afternoon, a 9.775 on floor exercise. Her 37.955 put her ahead of China’s Meng Fei, who ended with a 37.530. Kristin Maloney (Pen Argyl, Pa.) used a strong 9.562 on floor to claim the bronze for the USA with a 37.436. Vanessa Atler (Canyon Country, Calif.), the 1997 silver medalist, with fourth with a 37.087.
"I feel pretty good about third," Maloney said. "There were a lot of good gymnasts here. I get nervous, but I try to make it work for me rather than against me."
"I wanted to make everything with no mistakes, like I had been taught," said Karpenko, who will turn 17 on March 15. "This was a good birthday present for me."
Gymnastics competition continues at the Fort Worth Tarrant County Convention Center Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m. CST with the International 3-on-3 Championships. Eight teams comprised of a male and female gymnast and a rhythmic gymnast will compete for a $9,000 prize purse.
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. For more information about USA Gymnastics and its programs and events and for rotation-by-rotation updates of the Visa American Cup, access USA Gymnastics Online on the Internet at http://www.usa-gymnastics.org.
Men’s All-Around Final
1, Blaine Wilson, Columbus, Ohio, 57.325. 2, Alexei Bondarenko, Russia, 55.800. 3, Yang Wei, China, 54.700. 4, Sergei Charkov, Germany, 54.750. 5, Dimitri Karbanenko, France, 54.850. 6, Eric Lopez, Cuba, 53.350. 7, Yewki Tomita, Tucson, Ariz., 53.825. 8, Alexei Sinkevitch, Belarus, 51.700
Women’s All-Around Final
1, Viktoriya Karpenko, Ukraine, 37.955. 2, Meng Fei, China, 37.530. 3, Kristin Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa., 37.436. 4, Vanessa Atler, Canyon Country, Calif., 37.087. 5, Maria Olaru, Romania, 36.911. 6, Anna Kovaleva, Russia, 36.624. 7, Elvire Teza, France, 36.112. 8, Irina Yevdokimova, Kazakhstan, 33.849