Leyva, Wieber win 2012 AT&T American Cup

NEW YORK, March 3, 2012 – Danell Leyva of Homestead, Fla./Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics), and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA, won the all-around titles at the 2012 AT&T American Cup inside New York City’s Madison Square Garden Saturday. Wieber posted a 61.032, while Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, 60.832, and Romania’s Larisa Iordache, 59.332, finished second and third, respectively. On the men’s side, Leyva scored 90.664 to win the all-around gold medal, Ukraine’s Mykola Kuksenkov took the silver medal (90.498) and Germany’s Marcel Nguyen won the bronze (89.925).

Team USA’s John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S.O.T.C.), finished fifth in the all-around with an 89.331.

Leyva came from behind to take the title, after scoring a 15.933 on the horizontal bar. His routine, which included four catch-and-release moves, was punctuated by a stuck double-twisting double layout to the delight of the more than 12,000 fans on hand at Madison Square Garden.

"Being the AT&T American Cup champion is amazing," Leyva said. "It’s great to be on that list with people like Blaine Wilson, Jonathan Horton and Paul Hamm – and to say it was in the Garden is even better."

The Florida-native began his competition on the floor exercise, mounting with a double-twisting, double layout for a 15.033. Leyva earned a 14.433 on the pommel horse, a 14.666 on the still rings and a 15.633 for his Kasumatsu full on vault. In the fifth rotation, Leyva took to the parallel bars displaying the precision that won him the World title on the event and earned a 14.966.

Wieber, the reigning World all-around champion and defending AT&T American Cup champion, led from start-to-finish en route to her second, consecutive American Cup title and her third overall. Wieber began on the vault performing a nearly flawless Amanar for a 16.100.

"It feels amazing to win my third American Cup," Wieber said after the competition. "I’m really excited to get started with the Olympic year."

On the uneven bars, Wieber shook off a mistake on a free-hip to full pirouette to score 14.833. On the balance beam, Wieber posted a 14.966 with her front aerial, one-arm back handspring, layout step out combination and two-and-a-half twist dismount. In the final rotation, Wieber tumbling a big tucked, double-twisting, double back to earn a 15.133 and the title.

Photos by John Cheng and Brian Freed

For the men, Kuksenkov led the field after five events after posting the highest score of the night on the pommel horse, a 14.933. His 15.200 score on the high bar completed his 90.498 total. Nguyen claimed the all-around bronze medal, earning the highest score on the still rings of the competition (15.133) and an 89.925 all-around total.

Orozco, competing in his hometown, finished fifth in the all-around with a total score of 89.331, highlighted by a meet-high 15.500 on the parallel bars. Orozco closed competition on the high bar, performing a Liukin release move to earn a 15.366, the second highest score on the event.

On the women’s side, all-around silver medalist Raisman started with a nearly stuck Amanar vault for 16.100, which tied the high score on this event with Wieber.

"I’m really happy and excited with my performance. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has to offer," said Raisman.

On the uneven bars, Raisman earned a 14.333. Moving to the balance beam, Raisman, who dismounted with an impressive Arabian double front, scored 14.966. In the final rotation, Raisman electrified the crowd on the floor exercise, tumbling a one-and-a-half to Arabian double front to punch layout front. She earned the highest score of the day on the event, a 15.433.

Iordache posted the highest score of the meet on the balance beam with a 15.400, after executing a back handspring to tuck full twist. She scored 14.866 on the vault, 14.233 on the uneven bars and a 14.833 on the floor exercise, giving her the all-around bronze medal.

U.S. alternate Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance, who performed exhibition routines, which did not factor into the final results, hit four-for-four, highlighted by the debut of her Amanar vault and L-grip endo half to piked Tkatchev on the uneven bars. Douglas earned scores of 15.866 on vault, 15.633 on the uneven bars, 15.100 on the beam and 14.700 on the floor.

Christopher Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), like Douglas, performed exhibition routines as the U.S. alternate. Brooks earned his highest score of the night, a 15.833, for his handspring double front vault. He scored 14.900 on the floor, 13.933 on the pommel horse, 14.833 on the still rings, 14.900 on the parallel bars and 15.533 on the high bar.

For the third, consecutive year the AT&T American Cup is part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s All-around World Cup Series. The series in men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics includes five World Cups over the period of two years. The series continues with stopovers on Dec. 1–2 in Stuttgart, Germany, and Dec. 8 in Glasgow, Scotland, for 2012, before turning to the USA in March 2013 and concluding in Tokyo in April 2013.

Background information

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