USA Tops Charts With 18 Medal Opportunities

USA Tops Charts With 18 Medal Opportunities

For Immediate Release – Aug. 16, 2004
Brian Eaton, USA Gymnastics

ATHENS – The U.S. gymnastics team surpassed all other nations in qualifying for medal round finals by qualifying for 18 slots in the team, all-around and individual event finals across the next six competition nights. Team USA’s 18 medal chances rank first ahead of China with 16, Romania with 14 and Russia with 12.

Paul Hamm and Carly Patterson lead the way in the individual medal opportunities. Hamm qualified in first place for the men’s all-around final slated for 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18. Hamm also qualified for the Team, Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars and High Bar final for a total of six possible medals.

Patterson led the field in qualifying for the women’s all-around final on tap for 9 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 19. However, teammate Courtney Kupets leads the women with four medal chances in the Team, All-Around, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam finals.

Team USA qualified in second place for both the men’s and women’s team finals. The men’s team is the two-time defending world silver medalist and goes for gold at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Olympic Indoor Hall. The men qualified in second place for the team final behind ’03 world bronze medalist Japan.

Team USA scored a 230.419 to Japan’s 232.134. Scores from the team qualifying are wiped out and each team given a clean slate in the final. The team final is scored using a 6-3-3 format – three men compete on each event, with all three scores counting – eliminating any margin for error.

The U.S. men will send the following line-up into the team final to compete for the first U.S. men’s team medal since the 1984 men’s team won gold 20 years ago:
FX: Young, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. Wilson
PH: McClure, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. Gatson
SR: Young, Gatson, Wilson, alt. P. Hamm
VT: Young, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. McClure
PB: Wilson, P. Hamm, Gatson, alt. McClure
HB: McClure, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. Wilson

“I think we have a great opportunity ahead of us,” coach Kevin Mazeika said. “The guys are focused, they know what they have to do to win a medal. The team final is a totally different meet than team prelims, and we’re approaching it that way with a clear head and confidence.”

The U.S. women will defend their first-ever world championship team gold at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17. The women qualified for the final in second place with a 151.848 behind defending Olympic champion Romania at 152.436. The U.S. performed strongest on bars and beam, and will look to improve on vault and floor in the final.

The women’s line-up was announced at noon on Monday. Team USA will contend for their first gold since 1996 with the following line-up:
VT: Patterson, Bhardwaj, Hatch, alt. Kupets
UB: Patterson, Humphrey, Kupets, alt. McCool
BB: Humphrey, Kupets, Patterson, alt. Bhardwaj
FX: Kupets, Bhardwaj, Patterson, alt. Humphrey

“We believe this line-up can compete for the gold medal,” coach Kelli Hill said. “All of the girls are so talented on every event, it was a tough decision for the coaching staff who to put in each event. In the end, we all agreed that we had to come up with a line-up that balanced risk and opportunity, start values and consistency in order to be competitive.”

A complete list of medal opportunities follows:
Date
Event
Qualified
Entry
8:30 p.m., Mon., 8/16
M Team
2nd
Jason Gatson, Morgan Hamm, Paul Hamm, Brett McClure, Blaine Wilson, Guard Young
9 p.m., Tues., 8/17
W Team
2nd
Mohini Bhardwaj, Annia Hatch, Terin Humphrey, Courtney Kupets, Courtney McCool, Carly Patterson
8:30 p.m., Wed., 8/18
M AA
1st, 19th
Paul Hamm, Brett McClure
9 p.m., Thur., 8/19
W AA
1st, 4th
Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets
8 p.m., Mon., 8/22
M FX
5th, 6th
Morgan Hamm, Paul Hamm

W VT
6th
Annia Hatch

M PH
8th
Paul Hamm

W UB
5th, 7th
Courtney Kupets, Terin Humphrey
8 p.m., Tues., 8/23
W BB
2nd, 8th
Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets

M PB
5th
Paul Hamm

W FX
8th
Mohini Bhardwaj

M HB
5th, 7th
Paul Hamm, Morgan Hamm
Individual opportunities:
6, Paul Hamm (Team, AA, FX, PH, PB, HB)
4, Courtney Kupets (Team, AA, UB, BB)
3, Morgan Hamm (Team, FX, HB)
3, Carly Patterson (Team, AA, BB)
2, Brett McClure (Team, AA)
2, Mohini Bhardwaj (Team, FX)
2, Annia Hatch (Team, VT)
2, Terin Humpnrey (Team, UB)
1, Gatson, Wilson, Young; McCool (Team)

Both U.S. teams were shut out of the medals at the 2000 Olympics. Since that time, the United States has enjoyed its most successful three-year World Championships medal run in history, winning 15 world medals in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 World Championships.

2004 Men’s U.S. Olympic Team
Name Age Hometown Residence Club
Jason Gatson 24 Upland, Calif./Mesa, Ariz Colorado Springs, Colo. Team Chevron-USOTC
Morgan Hamm 21 Waukesha, Wis. Columbus, Ohio Team Chevron-Ohio
Paul Hamm 21 Waukesha, Wis. Columbus, Ohio Team Chevron-Ohio
Brett McClure 23 Mill Creek, Wash. Colorado Springs, Colo. Team Chevron-USOTC
Blaine Wilson 30 Columbus, Ohio Columbus, Ohio Team Chevron-Ohio
Guard Young 27 Oklahoma City, Okla. Norman, Okla. Team Chevron-Okla.

2004 Women’s U.S. Olympic Team
Name Age Hometown Residence Club
Mohini Bhardwaj 25 Cincinnati, Ohio Los Angeles, Calif. All Olympians
Annia Hatch 26 West Haven, Conn. West Haven, Conn. Stars Academy
Terin Humphrey 18 Bates City, Mo. Blue Spring, Mo. Great American
Courtney Kupets 17 Gaithersburg, Md. Gaithersburg, Md. Hill’s Gymnastics
Courtney McCool 16 Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Great American
Carly Patterson 16 Baton Rouge, La. Allen, Texas World Olympic

For team bios, recent clippings, quotes, start orders and schedule information, visit:
www.usa-gymnasticsolympics.com.

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