Yul Moldauer, the U.S. men’s gymnastics all-around champion, will be competing for a world all-around title on Thursday as the world championships continue in Montreal.
Moldauer, who along with the other U.S. men competed on Monday, had the seventh best all-around score of 84.331 when the men’s qualifying round wrapped up Tuesday afternoon.
The 21-year-old, who competes collegiately at Oklahoma, slipped off the pommel horse but was otherwise consistent throughout the day, and his score of 14.700 on the floor exercise was enough to advance him to that final as well.
This is Moldauer’s first time competing at the world championships. The Arvada, Colorado, native also took first in the all-around at the 2017 AT&T American Cup.
No matter what happens, there will be a new men’s all-around champion for the first time since 2009, when Japan’s Kohei Uchimura began his run of six consecutive world titles. Uchimura was forced to withdraw from the competition on Monday with a left ankle injury. He also won all-around gold medals at the last two Olympics for the longest streak of world and Olympic wins in gymnastics history.
Olympian Alex Naddour, who won the bronze medal on the pommel horse last summer in Rio, reached the apparatus final with a score of 14.966, good for third place after qualifying. Meanwhile, Donnell Whittenburg, an alternate on last summer’s Olympic team, will compete in the floor exercise final along with Moldauer. Whittenberg’s second-place score of 15.033 just beat Moldauer, who was third.
Naddour and Whittenburg both just missed the finals on rings, finishing ninth and 10th, respectively.
Another U.S. athlete, Eddie Penev, turned in one of the best scores of the competition on floor, finishing sixth with 14.633. However, only two athletes per country can compete in the final. Penev was also eighth on the vault after Monday’s competition but slipped out of contention during Tuesday’s final round and finished in 10th place.
Marvin Kimble also saw his shot at a final go on Tuesday after hanging onto eighth place in the horizontal bar on Monday. He finished 10th.
Two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak, who is recovering from an Achilles injury, did not qualify on the horizontal bar.