US men’s gymnastics team announced for 2016 Rio Olympics – USA TODAY
ST. LOUIS â Three members of the 2012 menâs gymnastics Olympics team will be making a return to the Games in Rio.
Following the conclusion of U.S. Olympic Trials at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday, Sam Mikulak, Jake Dalton and John Orozco were all named to the team. Veteran Chris Brooks and Alex Naddour, both alternates in London, completed the five-man team.
Mikulak made his second consecutive team after posting the top overall score in the final three rounds of the competition. While no one qualified based on the subjective criteria â under which gymnasts had to finish in the top two overall and top three in three events to automatically lock up a spot â Mikulak was the closest the Americans had as a lock.
The four-time defending U.S. champion posted some of the highest event scores of the competition, especially on pommel horse and vault, but didnât have an error-free rotation on any of the four days.
Brooks made his first Olympic team after serving as an alternate in 2012. Despite never finishing lower than fifth in a U.S. competition since 2010, he has been a perennial alternate. He has competed at only two world championships, and only made last yearâs squad after Mikulak got hurt.
Brooks finished fifth overall on Saturday, but he posted the best scores on parallel and high bar over the four days and was fifth on vault.
Dalton, who has won three worlds medals since competing in London, made his second team.
Naddour made his first Olympic team after serving as an alternate in London. Long a pommel horse specialist, he has improved in other events this quad. He was the Americansâ best gymnast on that event through trials, and he finished third overall on rings and sixth on floor.
Orozco, meanwhile, came on strong at trials after struggling at nationals. The 2012 Olympian came into qualifying less than a year after tearing his Achilles in June 2015. He finished second on high bar, sixth on parallel bars and seventh on pommel horse.
Missing from the team was Danell Leyva, the all-around bronze medalist from London. After struggling at nationals just weeks after suffering a dog bite breaking up a fight, Leyva made a strong showing by finishing second and third on parallel bars and high bar, respectively. But he wasnât strong enough on pommel horse, an event that they would have needed him for in team finals.
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