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Sooners, U.S. Finish Fourth at Worlds
October 21, 2010

Oct. 21, 2010

NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma senior Steven Legendre’s performance on floor guided the United States to a fourth-place finish in Thursday's team finals at the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Legendre was one of three Sooners representing Team USA along with letterwinners Jonathon Horton (2005-2008) and Chris Brooks (2006-2009).  Competing against the best in the World, Legendre kept the U.S. in the race for a bronze medal with the competition’s highest score on the floor exercise (15.266).



The U.S. men posted a team total of 268.012, just short of the medal stand and behind Germany’s 271.252.  China and Japan were neck and neck for the gold medal, with China coming out on top 274.997 to 273.769. 

“I’m obviously very proud of Oklahoma’s contribution to this World Championships,” said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. “Having three athletes from one program has not occurred since the 1984 Olympic Games when UCLA had three athletes represented on the team. It’s gratifying that the University of Oklahoma can develop gymnasts from collegiate national champions to world championship team members and Olympians.”

The horizontal bar was the best apparatus for the U.S. men’s team.  OU volunteer assistant coach Chris Brooks started the team off with a solid set that earned a 15.533, as Horton also performed an impressive routine to post a 15.633.  


The fourth-place finish for a young and talented U.S. team came after it missed the team finals at 2006 World Championships.  In the 2008 Olympic Games, Team USA, led by Horton’s award-winning performance, earned a bronze medal in the team competition.


The USA’s team score for the six apparatus were:  43.566, floor exercise; 40.032, pommel horse; 44.833, still rings; 47.566, vault; 45.016, parallel bars; and 46.999, horizontal bar.  The USA’s high bar team total was the highest in the team finals, and despite a few errors, their still rings generated the third-best score.


"I feel great about today," Horton said.  "We achieved something special.  We showed the world that the USA has a great team and that we are in the hunt and could make the podium. This was a great experience for us for next year, and (missing the bronze medal) will just fuel every one of the guys.  We know we can do better and I look forward to the next opportunity to show what we can do."


The members of the World Team are: Brooks, Chris Cameron, Horton, Legendre, Danell Leyva, and Brandon Wynn. Paul Ruggeri, is the alternate.


This is the second consecutive year that half of the World Championship team is represented by OU gymnasts.


For an in-depth interview with Oklahoma Head Coach Mark Williams about the 2010 World Championships, visit the
OU Men’s Gymnastics Blog.

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In addition to awarding world medals, the 2010 World Championships also determine the 24 countries that advance to the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.  Countries have two opportunities to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, finishing in the top eight in the team competition at the 2011 World Championships or in the top four at the 2012 Olympic Test Event in London. World champions and medalists will be determined for both men and women in the team, all-around and individual events.

The World Championships features team, all-around and individual event competition.  Qualification rounds determine advancement to the team, all-around, and apparatus finals. The men’s qualification rounds are Oct. 18-19. The top eight teams compete in the team finals on Oct. 20. The top 24 individuals compete in the all-around final on Oct. 22. For individual events, the top eight on each apparatus from the qualification rounds advance to the finals (Oct. 23-24). A maximum of two gymnasts per country advances to the all-around and individual event finals.

Fans can follow the action on both Universal Sports and NBC Sports.  Universal Sports is carrying a live webcast on universalsports.com and providing same-day, tape-delayed primetime broadcasts on its cable network for all of the final rounds. NBC Sports will broadcast coverage on Oct. 23 and 24. For the complete web and TV schedules, go to usagym.org/worlds.

USA Gymnastics' Web site, www.usa-gymnastics.org, will have results and a variety of information on the U.S. Team's efforts in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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