Morgan Hurd competes for the first time since her golden world championships at the American Cup, live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and NBC on Saturday.
Coverage starts on Olympic Channel at 11:30 a.m. ET (streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for Olympic Channel subscribers) and continues with NBC’s broadcast coverage from 1-3 p.m. (also streaming).
The American Cup is the biggest annual international gymnastics meet hosted by the U.S. Past winners include Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas.
It’s also the first major U.S. meet since USA Gymnastics’ board of directors and national-team coordinator Valeri Liukin resigned and the Karolyi Ranch closed amid the organization’s sexual abuse scandal and Larry Nassar‘s sentencing.
“The present climate causes me, and more importantly my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty,” Liukin said in a Feb. 2 statement.
An American woman won every American Cup all-around title since 2002.
Two 16-year-olds — Hurd and two-time U.S. junior champion Maile O’Keefe — are tasked with extending the streak.
The spectacled Hurd broke out last fall. She went from fifth at the 2016 junior nationals and sixth at the 2017 senior nationals to winning the world all-around title in Montreal on Oct. 6.
O’Keefe’s score at the 2017 U.S. Championships to repeat as junior all-around champ would have placed second in the senior division.
The Americans’ biggest competition on paper is Japan’s Mai Murakami, who was fourth at the 2017 Worlds all-around with a balance beam fall.
None of the 2016 U.S. Olympic champion team is in the field, though Biles is expected to return to competition this summer.
The men’s field is led by Japanese star Kenzo Shirai and the top two Americans from last year’s nationals — Yul Moldauer and Allan Bower.
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