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Vit Wins With Sticks & Style! +3 Takeaways from Winter Cup (Men’s Day 1)
The first day of competition at the 2022 Winter Cup is complete and it all came down to the final rotation for the senior men’s All-Around title. The competition was the first domestic meet for the men that will utilize a bonus system; encouraging athletes to compete more difficult routines in an attempt to keep up with the powerhouse teams Russia, Japan and China in the lead up to Paris 2024. Oklahoma’s Vitaliy Guimaraes finished atop the podium (83.950) despite being the only athlete not counting any bonus points in any of his six routines. Stanford’s Khoi Young finished second (83.536) while Asher Hong finished third (83.029). Guimaraes headlined the first five athletes named to the U.S. National Team based on performances at Winter Cup.
Here are our three biggest takeaways from the first day of competition!
1. Don’t Sleep on Vitaly Guimaraes
Coming into this competition, Guimaraes said his goal was to hit 6 for 6, maintain his spot on the senior U.S. national team, and get his name out there as somebody who can bring home medals for Team USA. It’s safe to say he checked off each of those boxes with his performance at the Winter Cup. Guimaraes had sticky feet all day long, capping the night off with a stuck Yurcheko double twist and his first Winter Cup All-Around title! But perhaps what’s more impressive is everything Guimaraes had to overcome in the last month to get to this moment. Guimaraes told the press after the competition that he broke his nose in January when he had a seizure and fell. He doesn’t know why the seizure occurred, but was open about his struggles bouncing back from it. This competition was not only a true testament to his grit, determination and passion for the sport, but a friendly reminder—don’t count him out!
2. Yul Moldauer is a Fighter
The competition may not have gone the way Moldauer wanted it to, but he put up an incredible fight, going from 15th after rotation 1 to 4th in the final standings. Some may have thrown in the towel, but not Moldauer! In fact, heading into the final rotation he actually had the lead for the first time in the competition, but errors on the high bar in the final rotation dashed his chances of finishing on the medal podium. Nonetheless the competition was still a valuable opportunity for him to gain experience with new skills. “This is a learning experience,” Moldauer said after the competition. “I went out there and threw some new routines. Even though they didn’t go super perfect, I’m glad I went for certain skills, like my new p-bars set.” Moldauer will look to get redemption on Sunday.
3. Remember Asher Hong’s Name
Many eyes were on first year senior Asher Hong who dominated the junior division of the Winter Cup last year. And while he didn’t come out with a win in Frisco, he certainly did not disappoint! Hong led the competition from rotation one through rotation four and posted impressive numbers on two of his stronger events: rings (14.566) and vault (16.680). A fall on high bar and a low execution score on pommel horse kept him out of the running for the title in the last two rotations, but with the most difficulty bonus of all the competitors in the senior men’s field, Hong still managed a third place finish and put his name in the conversation for Paris 2024, right where it belongs. We have high hopes for Hong’s future!
Individual event champions for the 2022 Winter Cup will be determined Sunday based on a two-day scoring total. Top performers from Saturday’s 2022 Elite Team Cup Presented by TURN will also earn the opportunity to compete on Day 2 alongside their senior division counterparts. The competition will stream live on FlipNow at 6:30 p.m. ET.
For your first look at the Men’s Senior Photo Gallery, Click Here!
Top 5 All-Around scorers:
- Vitaliy Guimaraes: All-Around 83.950 (0 bonus), floor 14.250, pommel horse 14.350, rings (13.600), vault 14.450, parallel bars 13.900, high bar 13.400
- Khoi Young: All-Around 83.536 (.886 bonus), floor 13.550, pommel horse 15.342 (.642), rings 12.550, vault 15.244 (.244), parallel bars 13.750, high bar 13.100
- Asher Hong: All-Around 83.029 (2.829 bonus), floor 14.029 (.229), pommel horse 12.949 (.349), 14.566 (.366), vault 16.680 (1.780), parallel bars 14.355 (.105), high bar 10.450
- Yul Moldauer: All-Around 81.648 (1.848 bonus), floor 13.400, pommel horse 13.789 (.489), rings 14.116 (.366), vault 13.400, parallel bars 15.543 (.993), high bar 11.400
- Colt Walker: All-Around 81.502. (.702 bonus), floor 12.450, pommel horse 12.750, rings 13.250, vault 14.897 (.597), parallel bars 15.055 (.105), high bar 13.100
Look for more on the Men’s Winter Cup in the March/April issue of Inside Gymnastics. magazine!
Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics
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