Douglas, Kato win 2016 AT&T American Cup titles
NEWARK, N.J., March 5, 2016 – 2012 Olympic all-around champion and 2015 World all-around silver-medalist Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Buckeye Gymnastics, and Japan’s Ryohei Kato won the women’s and men’s titles at the 2016 AT&T American Cup, the USA’s most prestigious international invitational and part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around World Cup series, at Prudential Center in Newark, N. J. The USA’s Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters, and Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), both took home the silver medal.
- Women’s all-around medalists: 1. Gabrielle Douglas, USA, 60.165; 2. Maggie Nichols, USA, 59.699; 3. Elsabeth Black, Canada, 57.132
- Douglas event scores: all-around, 60.165 (1); vault, 15.100 (1); uneven bars, 15.266 (1); balance beam, 14.966, (1); floor exercise, 14.833, (2)
- Douglas quotes:
“When the lights go on, I’m all in, there’s something that flips, clicks, and I’m so thankful to have that clicking mode, I’m happy to have that – click it on, click it off. But I want to be all in when it’s training also.”
“It’s all about doing it for the right thing. I know in the bottom of my heart that I can do more, and it’s all about the right intentions.”
“I think I’m in a very good spot right now, heading forward. [This competition] is a huge step and I’ll take the experience.”
On performing for the crowd cheering for her in this building: “OMG. It means the world to me. They always come and support me and cheer me up, and have always supported me throughout my career. It means a lot.”
- Nichols event scores: all-around, 59.699 (2); vault, 15.033 (2); uneven bars, 14.633 (2); balance beam, 14.833 (2); floor exercise, 15.200 (1).
- Nichols quotes:
“I think it was a great start to my 2016 season. I just gained a lot more experience, a lot more confidence and now I kind of know what it’s like to compete in all-around. It’s really nice. I’m really happy with how I did.”
A highlight of the event: “Probably just ending on floor. I just really wanted to show off my new routine, and I think that I did. I was just really proud with how I did.”
“It’s so awesome having such a huge crowd cheering for you and yelling your name. It’s just so much fun and you just want to show off your routines to the crowd.”
“Yeah, I think that was the loudest it’s been so far.”
- Black event scores: all-around, 57.132 (3); vault, 14.800; uneven bars, 13.866; balance beam, 14.400; floor exercise, 14.066.
- Men’s all-around medalists: 1. Ryohei Kato, Japan, 88.931; 2. Donnell Whittenburg, USA, 88.565; 3. Sun Wei, China, 87.665. Other U.S.: 4. Sam Mikulak, 85.964
- Kato event scores: all-around, 88.931 (1); floor exercise, 15.100 (2); pommel horse, 14.466 (2); still rings, 14.666 (2); vault, 14.900 (3); parallel bars, 14.566; horizontal bar, 15.233 (1)
- Kato quotes:
On his high bar performance: “I was focused on the actual routine itself, trying to get through the routine as I practiced.”
On the realization that he won: “In my mind, the best competition is when everyone actually hits and then to see who comes out on top at the end. I didn’t think I could come out on top.”
On beating the top two Americans in the U.S.: “It’s been a while since the Japanese have won the American Cup so it was important to ride the momentum from Worlds last year and put up a good showing.”
- Whittenburg event scores: all-around, 88.565 (2); floor exercise, 15.433 (1); pommel horse, 13.600; still rings, 15.500 (1); vault, 15.266 (1); parallel bars, 15.466 (1); horizontal bar, 13.300.
- Whittenburg quotes: On building on earlier competitions: “It will definitely help me in my consistency. and that’s what I’m striving for right now, to hits sets as best as I can majority of the time.”
“I knew I was in the lead heading into high bar, but I was just trying to focus on doing my high bar set.”
“I just need to keep working on getting better.”
Highlight of event for him: “Parallel bars, I’ve been having troubles with that lately, and it felt great to go out there and hit that set.”
- Sun Wei scores: all-around, 87.665 (3); floor exercise, 14.100; pommel horse, 15.033 (1); still rings, 13.700; vault, 15.100 (2); parallel bars, 14.766; horizontal bar, 14.966 (3).
- Mikulak event scores: all-around, 85.964 (4); floor exercise, 14.166 (3); pommel horse, 13.766; still rings, 14.500; vault, 14.766; parallel bars, 15.400 (2); horizontal bar, 13.366
- Mikulak quotes:
“Competing gives you that adrenaline rush, and that’s what makes a competition a competition.”
“I think there’s certain takeaways from this competition that I’ll be able to grow on and analyze and be able to make the changes to come out on top … I need to do more routines, build more muscle memory.”
On what to expect for Team USA in the Olympics: “I think we all have plans to stand on the gold medal podium.”
The impressive list of former American Cup champions also includes Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Paul Hamm, Jonathan Horton, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Carly Patterson, Danell Leyva, Shannon Miller, Mary Lou Retton, Kurt Thomas, Peter Vidmar, Jordyn Wieber and Kim Zmeskal-Burdette.
Past sites for the American Cup include: New York, N.Y. (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008, 2012); Ft. Worth, Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia, Pa. (2006); Jacksonville, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); Worcester, Mass. (2010, 2013); and Arlington, Texas (2015).
2016 A&T American Cup
1. Gabrielle Douglas, USA, 60.165
2. Maggie Nichols, USA, 59.699
3. Elsabeth Black, Canada, 57.132
4. Amy Tinkler, Great Britain, 55.932
5. Carlotta Ferlito, Italy, 55.598
6. Mai Murakami, Japan, 54.431
7. Tabea Alt, Germany, 54.399
8. Tisha Volleman, Netherlands, 52.666
9. Lorrane Oliveira, Brazil, 50.298
1. Ryohei Kato, Japan, 88.931
2. Donnell Whittenburg, USA, 88.565
3. Wei Sun, China, 87.665
4. Sam Mikulak, USA, 85.964
5. Nile Wilson, Great Britain, 84.131
6. Pablo Braegger, Switzerland, 83.664
7. Minsoo Park, Republic of Korea, 83.365
8. Andreas Bretschneider, Germany, 83.098
9. Lucas De Souza Bitencourt, Brazil, 76.998