Four OU gymnasts compete in the six-man lineup for Team USA in the qualifying round of the 2011 World Championships.
Oct. 9, 2011
TOKYO – The U.S. Men’s National Team earned a total of 361.583 points in its qualifying round at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. The men’s qualification round concludes on Oct. 10, which determines which countries and athletes advance to the final rounds of the Olympic qualifying event.
The second day of qualifying will feature the countries that did not compete in the first round of action. The United States currently stands in second place.
Juniors Jake Dalton (second World Championship appearance) and Alex Naddour (first) and OU letterwinners Steven Legendre (third) and Jonathan Horton (fifth) are featured in the United States’ six-man World Championship lineup. OU letterwinner Chris Brooks (second) is serving as the team’s one alternate.
Japan, considered one of the favorites to win the event, was also in the USA’s subdivision. The two nations finished in the top two spots in the team rankings for the event thus far, with Japan taking the lead.
The U.S. men had the highest team totals in the first session for both the floor exercise (60.499) and vault (64.316). The team scores for the other events were: pommel horse, 58.299; still rings, 59.448; parallel bars, 59.923; and horizontal bar, 59.098.
For the all-around, Horton posted an 89.689, the third highest of the competing Americans behind John Orozco and Danell Leyva and fifth best of the first qualifying round. The OU letterwinner and 2008 Olympian posted the team’s highest still rings score at 15.366 and Team USA’s second highest score on high bar with a 15.086. His other event scores were: floor exercise, 14.900; pommel horse, 13.308; and vault, 16.083.
“I think the team did awesome,” said Horton. “I am extremely excited with how well everyone did. I think we only had one or two missed routines the entire day, and it is just phenomenal in team prelims. I know if you put us in a three-up, three-count format, we are an even better team so I can’t wait.”
Legendre, a 2011 OU graduate, also competed on all six events, tallying an 86.598 total for seventh in the subdivision. He scored the USA’s best on floor, earning a 15.433. His other event scores were: pommel horse, 13.433; still rings, 14.066; vault, 15.233; parallel bars, 14.133; and horizontal bar, 14.300.
Dalton competed in five events for the team and posted the USA’s best vault score at 16.233. The OU junior earned a 15.366 on floor exercise, the seventh highest of the qualifying subdivision. His other event scores were: 14.566, still rings; 14.558, parallel bars; and 13.466, horizontal bar.
“It was exciting to be out there,” said Dalton. “I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I was going to be, so that was definitely a plus. We went out there a did really good on the floor exercise. That was exciting to see, especially for me because that’s one of my better events and I didn’t want to start out shaky.
“From then on, we just kept hitting and it went pretty good. We stayed right behind Japan so that was exciting.”
Naddour collected a 15.233 on the pommel horse, an event he’s won back-to-back NCAA titles on. His score was the fifth best of the subdivision.
The U.S. men competed in the first of eight subdivisions in the qualification round, along with gymnasts from Puerto Rico, Japan, Portugal and mixed groups of Vietnam, Peru, Kuwait, and South Africa.
The 24-team 2011 World Championships, held October 7-16 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan, will decide the countries that will compete in the team portion of the 2012 Olympics in London.
The top eight teams at the World Championships (for both men and women) will earn the right to compete in the Olympic final next summer in London. Medalists in Tokyo's individual events will also qualify for the Summer Games.
The team finals of the 2011 World Championships will begin at 4 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time on Oct. 12. Tokyo's time zone is 14 hours ahead of Oklahoma.
Sooner fans can follow the action at the 2011 World Championships via the web, cable TV and network television. UniversalSports.com will have a live webcast of the team, all-around and individual event finals from Tokyo for $19.99. Universal Sports will show all of the finals on its cable network during prime time. Check local listings and contact your cable provider for more details.
NBC Sports will also include highlights from the men’s competition during its broadcast of the women’s all-around final at 1 p.m. on Oct. 16.
Information to the this article was contributed by USA Gymnastics