Gymnastics: Horton goes for American Cup again
While the rest of the third-ranked Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team takes the week off from competition, senior gymnast Jonathan Horton is preparing for his biggest event of the year. Horton will join the world’s best at the 2008 Tyson American Cup at New York City’s legendary Madison Square Garden on Saturday, March 1. The event will be carried live on NBC (Cox Channel 3 in OKC) beginning at noon.
Horton is the two-time defending American Cup Champion, defeating 2005 World Championship silver-medalist Hisashi Mizutori of Japan in 2006, and Japan’s Nakase Takuya at last year’s event. With his back-to-back wins, Horton became the first male gymnast to win consecutive American Cup titles since the USA’s Blaine Wilson won three straight from 1997-99.
“The competition is going to be really intense,” Horton said. “The best guys in the world are going to be there.”
The 2008 Tyson American Cup will feature the top names in international gymnastics. The men’s field includes arguably the world’s top four gymnasts in reigning Olympic all-around gold-medalist Paul Hamm (USA), 2007 all-around world silver-medalist Fabian Hambuechen (Germany) and Mizutori, the 2007 world bronze-medalist in the all-around. Horton finished fourth in the all-around at the 2007 World Championships, just 0.2 points behind Mizutori’s third-place score.
Also in the field are 2006 pommel horse world bronze-medalist Alexander Artemev and 2001 and 2003 team world silver-medalist Raj Bhavsar of the USA.
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