Danell Leyva, Donnell Whittenburg named Olympic alternates

Danell Leyva
Getty Images
0 Comments

Danell Leyva and Donnell Whittenburg, the only two U.S. men to earn 2015 World Championships medals, were named as Olympic alternates Sunday after being left off the five-man Rio team on Saturday night.

So was Akash Modi, who finished sixth in the combined all-around standings after the P&G Championships and Olympic Trials.

Leyva, Whittenburg and Modi can replace one of the five Olympic team members — Sam MikulakJohn OrozcoJacob DaltonChris Brooks or Alex Naddour — in the event of injury.

It wouldn’t be unprecedented. In 2008, two Olympic alternates — Raj Bhavsar and Sasha Artemev — replaced the injured Paul and Morgan Hamm and helped the U.S. to a surprise team bronze medal in Beijing.

Leyva won the 2012 Olympic all-around bronze medal. No U.S. Olympic men’s all-around medalist has come back to compete in the following Games — Julius Lenhart (1904), Peter Vidmar (1984), Paul Hamm (2004).

Oklahoma’s Mark Williams was named the team head coach.

VIDEO: Orozo’s emotional interview after making Olympic team

*Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly called Leyva the 2008 Olympic all-around bronze medalist.