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Olympians Mikulak, Naddour Join National Champion Yul Moldauer On Gymnastics World Championships Team

By Chrös McDougall | Aug. 20, 2017, 1:15 p.m. (ET)

Sam Mikulak reacts after competing on the pommel horse at the P&G Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 19, 2017 in Anaheim, Calif.


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Sam Mikulak and Alex Naddour each competed in two of the six events this weekend at the P&G Gymnastics Championships, and that was enough for the Olympians to earn spots on the six-person world championships team, USA Gymnastics announced Sunday.

Mikulak and Naddour join Yul Moldauer, the newly crowned U.S. all-around champion, as well as 2016 Olympic alternate Donnell Whittenburg, Marvin Kimble and Eddie Penev on the U.S. team.

Allan Bower, the surprise silver medalist as the men’s competition wrapped up Saturday night, joins Colin Van Wicklen and 2016 Olympic alternate Akash Modi as alternates for the team.

The world championships take place Oct. 2-8 in Montreal. There is no team competition at this year’s worlds, only individual all-around and event finals. The U.S. will have three gymnasts per each event in the qualification round.

The 20-year-old Moldauer easily won his first U.S. all-around title on Saturday night, holding off his Oklahoma teammate Bower by one point despite a fall on the high bar. He also tied for first on floor exercise and was second on parallel bars.

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“It’s definitely something that’s been on my goal list and my dream list for a long time,” said Moldauer, who also won the American Cup in March.

Mikulak, the four-time defending U.S. champion and two-time Olympian, competed in just high bar and pommel horse as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in February. Despite only being cleared to perform his full high bar routine last week, and even with a fall on high bar Saturday, the 24-year-old still had the third highest score in the event over the two-day competition. He also had the second highest score on pommel horse.

Naddour, 26, is doing two events by choice. The 2016 Olympic pommel horse bronze medalist gave up the other four events to focus on still rings and horse, with an eye on winning a pommel horse world or Olympic title. Even as officials tested Naddour on Saturday by splitting his two events between the first and last rotations, the Arizona native thrived. He was the only gymnast of the weekend to post a combined event score above 30, which he did with his 30.55 on pommel horse. He was fourth on the still rings.

Whittenburg posted top-three scores in rings, parallel bars and vault, with his combined vault score of 29.4 tying Penev for first place. The 23-year-old returns to the world championships after finishing a U.S.-best eighth in the all-around at the 2015 event. Penev, who also tied for first place on the floor exercise, will compete in his first world championships at age 27.

Rounding out the team is Kimble, 21, who won the high bar and tied for first place in the still rings. This will be his world championships debut as well.

The P&G Championships conclude on Sunday with the final day of women’s competition at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009, including the gymnastics national championships and Olympic trials every year since 2011, on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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