[NEWS] 2012 OLYMPIC TRIALS – MEN’S GYMNASTICS FINALS
The 2012 men’s gymnastics Olympic trials competition has come to a close and Steve Penny (President of USA Gymnastics) has announced the two athletes going to London. Danell Leyva and John Orozco were named as the two gymnasts on the USA Olympic team. The other three members and alternate will be announced live tomorrow following the women’s finals. Through out the competition, Leyva and Orozco were flip flopping between first and second. We knew heading into Trials that these two would more than likely make the Olympic team.
However, after night 1 of the competition, Sam Mikulak, had the highest all-around score and finished in third after the combined scores from Nationals. He looked like a lock on the team until earlier this morning, his coach announced that he would not be competing in the all-around on day 2. He had sprained his left ankle after a short landing on his Tsukahara triple full on Vault from day 1 of competition. He only competed on Pommel Horse (and did a decent job) where that score counted plus his scores from day 1 of Trials and the Visa Championships will be averaged to use as a score for day 2. He’s still eligible as a contenter for the team. With Sam’s injury, this really mixes up the selection process.
So which direction will the committee lean towards? Sam is an all-around gymnast who has shown consistency and is peaking at the right time. But if he’s out, then who’s in? Do we take a gymnast like Alex Naddour who can fill in the weak spot on Pommel Horse? Or should we go with gymnasts like Jake Dalton and Steve Legendre who can score in the 16s on Floor and Vault to help offset the high 14s/low 15s on Pommels. Sam could easily be an alternate where he can jump in on any event to help team USA get a decent score. Chris Brooks finished in 4th in AA (tied with Jake Dalton) and could easily be in the mix. Then you have a gymnast like Paul Ruggeri who had an impressive showing at Trials finishing in the top 3 on Floor and High Bar and 6th in AA. He could be another gymnast to be considered. Josh Dixon was also quite impressive but unfortunately his scores didn’t put him in the top 8. I’m sure these are all the decisions the committee will have to consider. But as for now, this is our prediction on who will make the Olympic Team.
Alex Naddour (Alternate)
Tune in tomorrow on NBC (9/8c) to watch the Women’s Finals where we will find out the 10 gymnasts (plus alternates) heading to the London Olympic Games!