Frederick Richard leads men’s competition after Day 1

Olympic gymnastics trials kicked off in Minneapolis on Thursday, with reigning world all-around bronze medalist Frederick Richard leading the competition.

Richard, a 20-year-old Massachusetts native is not only a star on the floor exercise but has a dedicated following on TikTok, where he documents his journey as an Olympic hopeful. He placed first on floor and high bar, and third on parallel bars.

Last year, he also led the U.S. men to a team bronze medal, their first podium finish at the world championships since 2014.

The U.S. is eyeing their first Olympic medal in men’s gymnastics since 2008 this summer. During this weekend’s competition, a five-member team will be selected to go to Paris from one of the most talented pools of American gymnasts in years.

Stream every moment and every medal of the 2024 Paris Olympics on Peacock, starting with the Opening Ceremony July 26 at 12 p.m. ET.

In addition to Richard, U.S. national champion Brody Malone led for the first half of the competition, but finished half a point behind Richard. He is on track to make his second Olympic team after battling a serious knee injury last year. He started off the night with a stuck landing on the vault and hit his best event, the high bar, where he won a world title in 2022.

The men’s Olympic team will be named shortly after Saturday’s competition concludes.

Frederick Richard competes on the Pommel Horse
Frederick Richard competes on the Pommel Horse on Thursday.Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Shane Wiskus, Paul Juda and Asher Hong rounded out the top five. Thursday night was all redemption for Hong after a disappointing 10th-place finish at the U.S. Championships.

Khoi Young, who was also a member of the bronze medal-winning team last year, topped the standings on the vault for the night with a 14.950, but fell twice on the ever-fickle pommel horse.

Yul Moldauer also climbed back from a fall on the pommel horse, scoring a world-class 15.050 on the high bar.

Parallel bars phenom, Curran Phillips, scored a 15.600 on the event — a score that would have won the gold medal at last year’s world championships.

Stephen Nedoroscik, a specialist and world champion on the pommel horse, got a 14.450 in the event. That score is unlikely to clinch an Olympic spot for the one-event wonder, but he is capable of changing his fate with a hit on Saturday.

High-performance director and Olympic medalist, Brett McClure, described the selection process in a press conference Wednesday.

“It’s going to be a combination of the best scores on each apparatus,” McClure said. “There’s going to be some strategy to discuss strengths and weaknesses and also what the rest of the world is doing.”

The five-member men’s Olympic team will compete on six apparatuses in Paris, while the women compete on four. The top all-around finisher in the women’s competition automatically makes the team, but the men will be required to finish first in the all-around and top three on at least three events.

No male gymnast accomplished this feat at the U.S. Championships in Fort Worth, but Richard did on Thursday. If he repeats that on Saturday, he won’t need the selection committee to decide his fate.

The selection committee will consider the top team scoring scenarios utilizing both days of trials, as well as the U.S. Championships.

The U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games air live on NBC and Peacock from Thursday through Sunday.

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