It’s a new era! In their first international outing of 2022, the U.S. women’s team topped both the junior and senior DTB Pokal Team Challenge standings setting up an exciting season for these athletes, many of whom are new to the international stage and team competition.
With grace, style and determination, Konnor McClain followed up her 2022 Winter Cup All-Around victory with an impressive performance delivering the day’s high scores on beam (13.766) and floor (13.566), as she and teammates Skye Blakely, eMjae Frazier, Nola Matthews, and Ashlee Sullivan edged second-place Italy (163.598) by more than a point. The U.S. seniors posted a cumulative team total of 164.929 in a four-up-three-count format to claim gold. Australia finished third with a 153.297.
In the junior competition, Myli Lew, Ella Murphy, Ella Kate Parker, Hezly Rivera and Tiana Sumanasekera won gold with a nearly five-point team victory. Their 154.029 outpaced teams from Australia (149.831) and Italy (148.662) who rounded out the podium.
On Sunday, the women earned additional individual hardware as the apparatus finals wrapped up. Konnor McClain and Tiana Sumanasekera each picked up a gold and a silver, while Nola Matthews and Ella Kate Parker notched bronze!
McClain (14.033) edged Italy’s Martina Maggio (14.000) for the top spot on balance beam. Sanna Veerman of the Netherlands was third with a 12.600. On floor, Italy’s Angela Andreoli delivered the day’s high score with a 13.666 followed by McClain with a 13.300 and Australia’s Emily Whitehead with a 13.000. Fellow senior Matthews added bronze on uneven bars, posting a 13.700. Australia’s Romi Brown, who also scored a 13.700, came out ahead in the tie break to claim silver. Italy’s Giorgia Villa led the way with a 13.833.
In the junior division, Sumanasekera soared to the vault title with a 13.683 (14.033, 13.333). Australia’s Ruby Pass (13.250) and Spain’s Laia Font (12.883) rounded out the podium. Later, Pass (13.266) outpaced Sumanasekera (13.166) by a tenth of a point to claim the top spot on balance beam. Great Britain’s Tiegan Trafford was third with an 11.700. Parker represented the U.S. on floor exercise, earning bronze with a 12.266. She finished just behind Italy’s Chiara Barzasi (12.433) and Germany’s Meolie Jauch (12.333) who were one and two.
With new faces on the scene and new skills making their debut throughout the meet, we’re so excited to see what’s next for Team USA!
Meanwhile, the U.S. men secured the men’s junior and senior team titles on the opening day of the competition setting up an exciting 2022 and Road to Paris in 2024! Click here for the story!
Look for a Cover Story on Yul Moldauer and a new interview with Konnor McClain in the March/April Issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine!
Plus! Be on the lookout for an interview with Nola Matthews coming soon to InsideGym.com
DTB Pokal Team Challenge Photos by Qingwei Chen.
Photo of Nola Matthews by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics
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