Analyzing the U.S. gymnastics men’s World Championships team

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INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. men’s team for the World Gymnastics Championships includes two Olympians, and five of six members have World Championships experience.

Sam Mikulak, who captured his third straight U.S. all-around title Sunday, leads the team. He’s joined by Donnell WhittenburgAlex NaddourDanell LeyvaPaul Ruggeri III and Brandon Wynn. The alternates are Chris Brooks and Marvin Kimble.

The World Championships are the last week of October in Glasgow, Scotland.

The U.S. took bronze medals at the last two World Championships with team competitions in 2011 and 2014. It has never earned team medals at three straight World Championships.

China has won every Olympic/Worlds gold medal since 2007. Japan has won every Olympic/Worlds silver medal since 2007. The U.S. could contend with host Great Britain for at least a bronze in Glasgow, should the Americans clean up mistakes from an error-filled Sunday at the P&G Championships.

Japan’s Kohei Uchimura has dominated the individual all-around competition, winning every Olympic and World title since 2009. Mikulak was a medal threat in 2013 before a mistake on his last routine on high bar dropped him to sixth. He was 12th behind Uchimura in 2014.

The last American man to earn a Worlds all-around medal was Jonathan Horton, who captured bronze in 2010. Horton, 29, competed at the P&G Championships in Indianapolis, but he placed ninth in the all-around and did not make the Worlds team.

Neither did Olympian Jacob Dalton, a four-time Worlds veteran who withdrew before the P&G Championships with a small shoulder labrum tear but hoped for a spot on the Worlds team.

Here’s a look at the men who did make the Worlds team with each gymnast’s credentials:

Sam Mikulak: 2012 Olympian, 2013/2014 Worlds veteran. Mikulak is the three-time reigning U.S. all-around champion, but his résumé is missing an individual Olympic or Worlds medal. He finished fourth in the 2013 Worlds high bar final, fifth in the 2012 Olympic vault final and sixth in the 2013 Worlds all-around.

Donnell Whittenburg: 2014 Worlds veteran. Whittenburg qualified fourth into the Worlds all-around final in his debut last year but struggled under the bright lights of the final and finished 17th. He was seventh in the parallel bars final and is also strong on floor exercise, still rings and vault.

Danell Leyva: 2012 Olympian, 2009/2010/2011/2014 Worlds veteran. The Olympic all-around bronze medalist is a two-time Worlds medalist on parallel bars. He was also used on pommel horse and high bar in the 2012 Olympic and 2014 Worlds team finals.

Alex Naddour: 2011/2013/2014 Worlds veteran. Naddour has finished first or second on pommel horse at the U.S. Championships each of the last five years. He could also be used on still rings, as he was at the 2014 Worlds.

Brandon Wynn: 2010/2013 Worlds veteran. Wynn took bronze on still rings and seventh on parallel bars in his last Worlds appearance. He was second on rings at the P&G Championships and no better than ninth in the other five events.

Paul Ruggeri III: Ruggeri was an alternate for the 2010, 2013 and 2014 Worlds teams. He is the lone Worlds rookie this year. Ruggeri was second on high bar and vault and fifth on floor exercise at the P&G Championships.

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Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

“Was starting to think that I’m so old that I can’t time trial anymore,” Mantia, a 34-year-old whose last 1500m personal best came in 2015, told media in Utah. “Maybe there’s a little bit of hope left.”

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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