good grip on the bar and I didn’t have it much tance from the bar, causing him to break form
today. It was cold, and my fingers were cold.” and muscle a swing to handstand. His layout
However, he was thrilled with his victory. Tkatchev, on the other hand, had such flight
“It was the first time I hit all my routines at an that he barely caught the bar. In spite of a
American Cup,” he said. “It’s awesome to be great layout double-double dismount, Sender
next to Paul Hamm and to all the other guys ended up in second, only 0.20 away from the
[who have won].” title.
Sender, who last appeared in the American American Joseph Hagerty and Benoit
Cup in 2006, led throughout most of the Caranobe of France battled each other
meet. His floor exercise was strong, with throughout the meet. Hagerty’s best events
secure landings on his tumbling passes (Lou were floor (whip to Thomas; layout Thomas;
Yun; 21⁄2 twist to rudi; tucked and layout 21⁄2 twist) and high bar (clean Kolman; stuck
Thomases; double layout dismount). His pom- layout full-out dismount), and he performed
mels routine was solid, and with the exception solidly all afternoon to place third.
of a slight leg separation at the end, he Caranobe tumbled a huge piked double
showed good form. front on floor, but put his hands down after
After a stellar rings routine for an event-high landing short on a piked double Tsukahara
15. 30 (Maltese to iron cross; Yamawaki to vault ( 7.0 Start Value). He finished fifth,
planche), Sender had a 1.0-point lead over his
German rival. Even with a large step on his
21⁄2-twisting Yurchenko vault, his lead
increased to 1.35 points after four rotations.
On parallel bars, Sender performed a giant
to double back, but appeared to struggle slightly after a Healy. His double pike dismount was
landed with only a small hop, and he held off
Hambüchen by 1.25 points.
But high bar would see a reversal of fortune
for Sender. His Kovacs didn’t get enough dis-
PAST CUP CHAMPIONS (l-r):
Stella Zakharova/UKR (1979), Peter
Vidmar/USA (1983-84), Mary Lou
Retton/USA (1983-85), Trent Dimas/USA
(1991), Vitaly Scherbo/BLR (1993-94),
Nastia Liukin/USA (2008).
unable to hold off a late surge by Koji Uematsu
Uematsu bombed vault, falling completely
off the mat after a 21⁄2-twisting Tsukahara. He
hit parallel bars (double pike back between the
bars; nice giants; stuck double pike dismount)
and high bar (showing three types of Kovacs
saltos) to sneak into fourth place.
Yuri Ryazanov (Russia), sixth, landed low on
a double back tuck on floor, his first event, and
tried to cover by going into a prone drop. The
judges weren’t fooled, and Ryazanov was
never able to challenge for a medal.
Adrian Bucur (Romania) and Luis Rivera
(Puerto Rico) both hit their double-twisting layout Tsukahara vaults, and the latter also
impressed on floor (opening piked double
Arabian). These gymnasts finished seventh
and eighth, respectively.
As in previous years, most of the gymnasts
seemed unprepared for this competition based
on the large number of errors on display.
Hambüchen and Wieber, however, showed
that it was indeed possible to compete at a
high level early in the season. They also
proved that they are true all-around gymnasts.