U.S. men rank second behind China in gymnastics qualifications - WSMV News 4

U.S. men rank second behind China in gymnastics qualifications

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Sam Mikulak, Chris Brooks, Alex Naddour, Danell Leyva and Jake Dalton came to Rio for a team medal after finishing a disappointing fifth at the London Olympics as well as the 2015 World Championships. They appear to be on track after placing second, in between Olympic champions China in first and Russia in third. The reigning world champions, Japan, finished fourth at the conclusion of the qualification round.

While they were plagued by mistakes on pommel horse, their weakness at the 2012 Olympics as well, the U.S. earned a combined score of 270.405. Their best rotation came on parallel bars, which saw scores over 15 points for all four routines. 

The eight teams that will advance to the final are:

1. China:  270.461

2. United States: 270.405

3. Russia: 269.612

4. Japan: 269.294

5. Great Britain: 268.670

6. Brazil: 268.078

7. Ukraine: 263.002

8. Germany: 261.518

Switzerland, the Netherlands, France and South Korea will not advance to the final. The most shocking moment of qualifications came when French gymnast Samir Ait Said broke his leg upon the landing of his vault. He was carried off in a stretcher as the shocked audience gave him a standing ovation.


A happier ending came for Germany's Andreas Toba. On the landing of his first tumbling pass on floor, Toba injured his knee. Unable to continue the routine, Toba received a score of 1.366. But he refused to let a reported torn ACL stop him from contributing to Team Germany however he could. In a later rotation, he performed a clean routine on pommel horse before being helped off the podium by his emotional teammates.

The U.S. also qualified two gymnast, the max per country, to the all-around finish. Mikulak ranked seventh and Brooks ranked 19th. 

Japan's Kohei Uchimura, the reigning Olympic all-around champion, fell off the horizontal bar but still earned the second highest combined score. Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev finished first. The top 24 all-around gymnasts will advance to the final on Monday, Aug. 8. The full all-around rankings can be found here. 

The U.S. men will be nicely represented in the event finals, as well. Mikulak and Dalton will enter the floor final ranked 1-2, respectively, Alex Naddour sneaked into the pommel horse final by finishing seventh, Leyva will compete in the parallel bars final, and both Leyva and Mikulak qualified for the horizontal bar final. 

The women's qualifications will take place on Sunday, Aug. 7 with the U.S. women competing for spots in the team, all-around and event finals at 4:30 p.m. ET.

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