MELBOURNE, Australia, April 30, 2010 – The U.S. women kicked off their Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships with a gold and silver medal rush. The team handily won the team gold medal, and U.S. went one-two in both the junior and senior all-around competition at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas/WOGA, and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Twistars USA, won the senior and junior all-around gold medals, respectively. The individual event finals will conclude the event, with the men on May 1 and the women on May 2.
In the team competition, the USA posted a total of 234.950, posting the highest team score on all four apparatus: vault, 60.750; uneven bars, 57.950; balance beam, 58.700; and floor exercise, 57.550. In addition to Bross and Wieber, the U.S. women’s team features: Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s (senior); Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max (junior); Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s Gymnastics (senior); and Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics (junior). The team silver went to China with 219.450 points, followed by host country Australia at 215.450.
In the senior all-around, Bross and Raisman finished in the top two spots, followed by Russia’s Ksenia Afanasyeva. Bross tallied 59.150 for the all-around crown, posting the top scores for both bars (15.150) and floor (14.600). Her other two event scores were vault, 15.050, and beam, 14.350. Raisman, who finished behind Bross earlier this year at the Tyson American Cup, earned a total of 58.250 for the silver, which included the best score for vault at 15.350, and the second highest on beam at 14.800 and floor at 14.350. Sloan, who injured her ankle in training, only competed on the uneven bars as part of the team competition.
The United States posted the three best all-around scores in the junior all-around, but the maximum two athletes per country rule limited the Americans to claiming only the gold and the silver. Wieber, who won the 2009 Tyson American Cup, earned the highest scores on three of the four apparatus to score 59.550 for the all-around title. She had the top score on uneven bars (14.800), balance beam (15.200) and floor exercise (14.450), with the second highest on vault at 15.100. Ross captured the silver medal with her 58.000 total, including the top vault score of 15.250 and the second best score on bars (14.250), beam (14.350 tie), and floor (14.150). The USA’s Vega had the third highest score with 56.600 (vault, 14.500; bars, 13.900; beam, 14.350; floor, 13.850), but the bronze medal went to Russia’s Anna Rodionova at 53.450.
The U.S. women have won the team titles and claimed the top two spots in the junior and senior all-around at every Pacific Rim Championships from 2002-10.
On the first day of the 2010 Pac Rim Championships, the U.S. men won the team title and John Orozco of Bronx, N.Y., won the junior all-around title.
The competition continues through Sunday, May. 2: May 1 – men’s junior and senior individual event finals (top eight juniors and eight seniors on each apparatus), 7 p.m.; and May 2 — women’s junior and senior individual event finals (top eight juniors and eight seniors on each apparatus), 2 p.m. NOTE: All times are local to Melbourne, which is 14 hours ahead of New York, N.Y.