Categorized | Elite, Featured, Men's Gymnastics

Moldauer, Whittenburg & Naddour Advance to World Championships Finals

Posted on 03 October 2017 by admin

The U.S. men qualified three gymnasts to the World Championships finals.  Yul Moldauer, Donnell Whittenburg and Alex Naddour will represent Team USA on two events–Floor and PH.  Moldauer, as expected, also qualified for Thursday’s AA final.  He just missed being able to compete in the top group of six, finishing 7th (84.331).  Moldauer advanced based largely on his superior execution, which was the 4th highest (50.731) of the top-10 qualifiers.  His start value was the second lowest (33.60).  Moldauer counted a fall on PH, so if he hits six-for-six in the finals, he has a great opportunity to make up some ground, with a shot at making the podium.  He has set himself up nicely.  One big obstacle was removed during qualification.  Perennial champ Kohei Uchimura was forced to withdraw after suffering an ankle injury on VT.  China, Russia and Switzerland were the only teams to qualify two gymnasts for the AA finals.

AA FINALISTS (top 12)

  1. Manrique Larduet (CUB) – 86.699
  2. Xiao Ruoteng (CHN) – 86.297
  3. David Belyavskiiy (RUS) – 85.839
  4. Kenzo Shirai (JPN) – 85.697
  5. Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) – 85.431
  6. Lin Chaopan (CHN) – 84.515
  7. Yul Moldauer (USA) – 84.331
  8. Nile Wilson (GBR) – 83.832
  9. Pablo Braegger (SUI) – 83.798
  10. Ahmet Onder (TUR) – 82.798
  11. Nikita Nagornny (RUS) – 82.698
  12. Jossimer Calvo (COL) – 82.39

Thanks to the highest execution score (8.9) in the field of eight FX finalists, Moldauer placed 3rd (14.70) in the qualifying round.  He also had the lowest start value (5.8).  His podium chances are looking very good if he has a repeat performance in the finals.  Donnell Whittenburg perhaps hit one of his finest FX routines, which came at an opportune time on the Worlds stage.  With the 3rd highest start value (6.4), Whittenburg sparkled with the field’s second best execution score (8.633) to secure the second highest score (15.033) behind the leader Kenzo Shirai (15.766).  Like Moldauer, another clean routine in the finals by Whittenburg should earn him a podium spot.  Shirai posted the top start value by almost a full point (7.2) and turned in the third best execution score (8.56).  With those kind of numbers, a hit routine by Shirai will be impossible to beat.

Alex Naddour had no trouble making the field of eight PH qualifiers, thanks to posting the second highest execution score (8.566) and having one of the higher start values (6.4).  Naddour was the third best qualifier (14.966), and another hit routine in the finals should allow him to add a Worlds’ event medal to the bronze he earned last summer at the Rio Olympics.  2016 Olympic Champion Max Whitlock was the top qualifier (15.30).  Both Naddour and Whittenburg were nudged out of the SR final by athletes in the final qualifying session, and were named as reserves.  Eddie Penev (VT) and Marvin Kimble (HB) were likewise knocked out of finals spots, and were also named as reserves.  Penev, who placed 6th in the FX qualifier, was excluded from finals on that event due to the two-per-country rule.

The AA finals are on Thursday at 7:00pm ET.  FX and PH finals are on Saturday at 1:00pm ET.

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Says:

    Alex already has two team world medals from 2011 and 2014, so he’d be adding another world medal to his collection.

  2. Tom Says:

    2 per country rule. That is athletic socialism. A competitor with a lower score moves on because of what country he is from. Yeah that makes sense.

  3. admin Says:

    Dave – Yes, was referring to world event medal, which would be his first.

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