Donnell Whittenburg will need an armored car to take home his medals from the 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships after claiming two individual event final gold medals as the competition concluded Sunday evening in Everett, Washington.
Already holding a team gold and all-around silver earned Friday night, Whittenburg paced an American men’s squad that dominated the individual event finals by taking all six golds and four silvers in the six events. Seeking selection to his first Olympic team later this summer, Whittenburg is rounding into form at the right time. Having won only one individual medal in international competition prior to 2015, he now can point to a trophy case that includes two golds, six silvers and three bronzes won in individual competition during the past two years.
The Baltimore, Maryland, native won gold on rings and parallel bars Sunday, blowing the roof off the scoreboard with totals that were pushing the 16.0 barrier. His highest came in rings, where he posted a 15.925 to outdistance teammate and 2012 Olympian John Orozco by 0.6 points. Whittenburg’s parallel bars score was almost as good, scoring a 15.8 to edge out Friday’s all-around champion, Weifeng Cai of China. Whittenburg’s 15.075 on vault Sunday was good for silver.
Other golden U.S. men Sunday were 2012 Olympian Jake Dalton on floor exercise (15.625), Alex Naddour on pommel horse (15.65), Orozco on high bar (15.4) and Eddie Penev on vault (15.1). Penev also took silver on floor (15.525) while Sam Mikulak was second on pommel horse (14.95).
The U.S. women added three golds and two silvers in the three events they competed Sunday. London 2012 Olympic floor exercise champion Aly Raisman won that event in Everett with a score of 15.1 and added a silver with the same score on balance beam. Ragan Smith took the beam gold with a 15.225, while Ashton Locklear was golden on uneven bars with her 15.625. Brenna Dowell took the floor silver behind Raisman, scoring 14.825.