By Blythe Lawrence | March 17, 2018, 12:20 p.m. (ET)

Akash Modi competes on the rings at the P&G Gymnastic Championships on Aug. 19, 2017 in Anaheim, Calif.

 

A clutch performance on pommel horse helped propel gymnast Akash Modi to the silver medal on Saturday in the men’s all-around competition at the FIG World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany.

Russia’s David Belyavskiy won the gold on the second 2018 stop of the FIG’s all-around world cup series, scoring 85.732 points over the six events. Modi was behind him with 84.098, edging 2016 Olympic team gold medalist Yusuke Tanaka of Japan, who finished with 83.998.

Modi’s competition started slowly. Tied for last out of the eight competitors after the first event, floor exercise, the 22-year-old from Morganville, New Jersey, knew he would have to produce an excellent pommel horse set if he were going to contend for a medal. While Team USA is not known for consistently producing international standouts on the event, Modi nevertheless delivered an excellent routine, which he had recently upgraded, for 14.166 points, the second-highest score on the event.

The routine gave Modi the jump he needed. Third-place finishes on rings, vault and parallel bars kept him in the medal conversation, and although his 13.700 on high bar was seventh of the eight competitors, it was enough to keep him in second.

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The result in Stuttgart is the best ever at a world cup event for Modi, an alternate on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. The Stanford alum’s previous best at a world cup came in 2017, when he finished third at the American Cup in Newark, New Jersey.

Belyavskiy, who was fourth in the all-around at last year’s world championships, was sharp in his first international outing of 2018, his scores dipping beneath 14 just once. Tanaka produced the best routines on parallel bars, high bar and floor exercise, but was hampered by lackluster performances on the other three apparatus.

Competition in Stuttgart continues Sunday with the women’s all-around, where Team USA’s Jordan Chiles will be making her senior international debut.

Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.