Hong wins first men’s national gymnastics title

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Asher Hong won his first men’s national gymnastics title on Saturday night, posting a two-day total of 170.930 to edge college teammate Khoi Young and Fred Richard.

The 19-year-old Hong, a sophomore at Stanford, is the first teenager to win a men’s all-around national championship since John Orozco in 2012.

Hong, who finished third behind two-time national champion Brody Malone a year ago, led after the opening night on Thursday but fell behind early in the finals after a so-so performance on the pommel horse. He gained momentum as the meet went on, taking the lead for good with a brilliant 15.099 on still rings as Richard and 2017 national champion Yul Moldauer faltered after the three began the finals separated by less than 0.2.

Richard, a sophomore at Michigan, saw his chances of chasing down Hong end when he fell twice near the end of his routine on the pommel horse during the penultimate rotation.

Moldauer began the night with a chance to bookend the national championship he won six years ago. A fall on the high bar and the ensuing score of 11.200 sent him tumbling down to fifth.

Their miscues opened the door for Young, a junior at Stanford. A strong set on pommels propelled him into second a year after he had to withdraw from the 2022 championships due to a sprained ankle.

The five-man team that will represent the U.S. at the world championships in Belgium this fall will be announced Sunday morning. The Americans are trying to return to the podium at a major international event for the first time since 2014.

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