Oct. 31, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. - The United States finished in second place at the World Gymnastics Championships in Ghent, Belgium, on Wednesday, and OU assistant coach Guard Young will be bringing a silver medal back to Norman. Prior to the meet, there were serious security concerns whether or not the U.S. would actually compete, however Young and the American team performed extremely well and won a medal at the World Championships for the first time since 1979.

Belarus, who finished first in the preliminary round, won the gold medal with a score of 169.622, followed by the United States, who captured the silver medal with a 166.845 score. Ukraine won the bronze medal with 165.483 points. The Americans finished second in the qualifying round, as well. Forty nations from around the world competed at the prestigious meet.

In his first World Championship meet, Young competed on the floor exercise and the rings in the preliminary round, scoring 8.025 and 8.912 respectively. However, with the new format only allowing three gymnasts per nation to compete during the team finals, Young served as an alternate Wednesday.

"I'm so excited for Guard and for the whole American team," said Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams, who is in Belgium with Young. "It has been a long time since an American team medaled at a World Championship event, and for Guard, a Sooner, to be a part of it, it's just very exciting. The team worked very hard and hung in there, even after being in seventh place after the first event. This is really very big for American gymnastics."