GYMNASTICS: Rising star Brody Malone leads first day of Olympic Trials ahead of Wiskus, Moldauer and Mikulak

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The U.S. Olympic Trials in Artistic Gymnastics got underway in St. Louis on Thursday with the first men’s All-Around program. Both the men’s and women’s programs will send four-person teams to Tokyo, with the U.S. earning an extra individual competitor in the men’s and women’s competitions. Jade Carey has also earned a place at the Games (still to be confirmed) by virtue of her performances at the FIG Apparatus World Cups over the past two seasons.

The USA Gymnastics selection procedures state that the top two athletes from the combined two days of All-Arounds will be named to the team (with some qualifications), with the remaining places and replacement athletes to be determined by the “Athlete Selection Committee.”

Thursday’s men’s first All-Around saw NCAA and national champion Brody Malone dominate once again, winning on Floor (14.600, tied with Sam Mikulak) and High Bar (14.450), on his way to a first-day winning total of 85.250, ahead of Shane Wiskus (84.300), Yul Moldauer (83.200), veteran Mikulak (83.200) and Malone’s Stanford teammate Brandon Briones (82.700).

Wiskus won the Parallel Bars at 14.500 and Donnell Whittenburg was especially impressive on Vault, winning at 15.050. The specialists who shined included Alex Diab on Rings, winning at 14.500, and Alec Yoder on Pommel Horse, winning at 15.050.

Malone’s score was down a bit from his spectacular National Championships performance, where he scored 86.250 on the first day, followed by 84.450 on the second day.

The men will go again on Saturday; the women – led by Simone Biles – will go tomorrow.

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