Oct. 29, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. - Guard Young, an assistant coach for Oklahoma's men's gymnastics squad, helped the U.S. National Team reach the team finals at the 2001 World Gymnastics Championships in Ghent, Belgium. In his first World Championships, Young competed on the floor exercise and rings, scoring a 8.025 and a 8.912, respectively. Of the 40 competing nations, the United States finished in second place.

The top eight teams from the preliminary round advance to the team finals, to be held on Wednesday night at Ghent's Flanders Sports Arena. Belarus finished first with a score of 222.132, and the United States was just behind them with a 221.140. Rounding out the top eight nations were Korea (220.57), Romania (219.768), Ukraine (218.757), France (218.593), defending Olympic champion China (218.296) and perennial power Russia (217.384).

The new format for the team finals has three gymnasts per nation competing on all of the events and with all scores counting, leaving no room for error. Team USA hopes to continue its dominance on the parallel bars, where Sean Townsend of Houston, Texas, put up a meet-high 9.787.

Townsend will also advance to the individual event finals on the parallel bars, as well as the all-around finals. He will be joined by Americans Paul Hamm and Stephen McCain in the hunt for individual all-around gold.

"The United States has had an outstanding performance in this meet so far," said Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams, who is in Belgium with Young. "I'm very pleased with what I've seen from Guard and Team USA. It's still early and a lot can change in the finals, but an American team hasn't had a top three preliminary finish at the World Championships since 1979. The U.S. is looking good and is right in the mix to compete for a medal."