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Conor McClain Rally to Win National Gymnastics Title

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Tampa — for years, Connor McClain He seemed destined to become the best gymnast in the country. Steve Harvey At age 11, she set her sights on the 2024 Olympic overall title.

McLain delivered on a promise on Sunday, winning the US national title at age 17 after day one leaders series jones I got off the uneven bars and fell on the last trick. McLain became the sixth woman since 2000 to win in her Senior Nationals debut. All five of her remaining have recently become the best gymnasts in the world. Simone Biles.

McLain’s first senior Nationals was supposed to be last year, but after a move to cross-country and a change in coaching, she wasn’t ready to compete. , was depressed. She didn’t believe she could top the podium a year later.

“It’s so surreal,” McClane, who returned this summer from a stress fracture in each shin, a concussion and the flu two weeks ago, said Sunday night. .”

US Gymnastics Championships: Results

In the two-day competition, McLain trailed Jones in eight tenths going into the final day on Sunday.

Jones fell on the first balance beam and entered the final lap half a second behind consistent McClane. best), she would comfortably join Biles, who won the only non-teenage national title in the last 50 years. It appeared on the way until it was deducted.

Immediately after, Anna Liukinthe mother of the 2008 Olympic overall champion Nastya Liukin who guides her husband and maclean Valeriwhispered in McClane’s ear.

I think you won, Liukin told her.

“She was a little surprised, but she was smiling,” Liukin said.

McLain, the 2019 U.S. junior all-around silver medalist, was originally too young for the Tokyo Olympics, but age restrictions now apply when the Olympics are postponed by a year and take place in 2021. . From his McLain team, McLain eventually moved from West Virginia to Texas Jim. She skipped her national competition (and participating in her trials at the Olympics) to focus on her 2024.

“She was not fit to compete,” Lykin said, adding that a mutual decision was made to withdraw in McLain’s best interests.

And last winter, McClane’s father Mark, died of COVID-19. Her grandmother died the same week. She competed on Friday and Sunday wearing her patch in a leotard with his initials.

“I wish I could talk to my dad right now,” McLain said when asked what crossed his mind after winning.

Jones was 10th in the Olympic Trials, the top finisher, did not go to Tokyo (neither as a team nor as a substitute), and had originally planned to quit elite gymnastics. After talking it over with her loved ones, including her father, she was motivated to continue. Sylvester Jones Jr. He died in December after a long battle with kidney disease.

Jones called Friday’s all-around the best performance of her career. In the latter, she rushed the bar down, soared too high and opened it a little too early.

“Two falls and a second place is just the beginning for me,” she said.

jordan childs When Jade Carey They finished 3rd and 5th respectively. The Tokyo medalist became the first US Olympic women’s gymnast to return to elite competition after the NCAA season.

“There was really no stress level,” said Childs, who during a break between routines on Sunday tried to lift Jones up and ride a jumbotron during a bit of The Lion King Come. Preparing for this was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done because of my injury. [micro tears in a shoulder labrum and bicep]and that injury held me back.

Like McClane and Jones, Childs and Carey are eyeing Paris 2024.Just like the overall gold medalists in Tokyo suni lee, is expected to return to elite competition next year. And perhaps Biles, who hasn’t competed since Tokyo but hasn’t ruled out a return to running another Olympics.

World Championships this fall. Its five-man women’s team, named after October’s selection camp, will go on to win gold in the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes have been banned indefinitely for the war in Ukraine. become advantageous.

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