Nastia Liukin at the American Cup
Photo © Chris Trotman / Getty Images
Nastia Liukin, finally fully recovered from the ankle injury that kept her out for most of last year, won the meet despite stiff competition from her three American teammates: Shawn Johnson, Samantha Peszek and Shayla Worley.
Even with a few missed combinations and a low landing on her dismount, she brought in the biggest score of the day, a 16.6, on the uneven bars. Her other events went smoothly if not perfectly, and she's added a new front aerial flip to one leg on balance beam.
Johnson placed second due to a fall on her new 2.5-twisting Yurchenko vault (called an Amanar). She won three out of the four events, but couldn't quite make up enough ground over Liukin for the all-around victory.
On the men's side, Paul Hamm won by more than three points over U.S. teammate Sasha Artemev. Hamm also earned gold on the floor, parallel bars and high bar, and showed improved difficulty on his rings routine -- his worst event in 2004.
Artemev placed second, highlighted by a beautiful Yurchenko 2.5 and, as always, amazing flair work on the pommels and floor. He's so strong on pommel horse that he won the event with a fall.
What did you think of the competition?
Read more about the American Cup