Gymnasts Leyva, Orozco lead the way at U.S. trials
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - World parallel bars champion Danell Leyva and U.S. all-around champion John Orozco led the overall standings after the first day of men's competition at the U.S. Olympic trials on Thursday.
Fifteen gymnasts are vying for five spots on offer at the London Games and Leyva, Orozco, Sam Mikulak, Jonathan Horton and Jake Dalton occupied the top five places by the end of a riveting afternoon of spinning and tumbling at the HP Pavilion.
Cuba-born Leyva, watched closely by his flamboyant stepfather and coach Yin Alvarez, produced flair and power on the high bar to earn 15.850 in his final event of the day and take control with an overall score of 276.500.
Orozco, who edged out defending champion Leyva to claim the U.S. all-around crown in St. Louis earlier this month, was awarded 15.650 for a rock-solid closing display on the high bar to lie second on 275.550.
Mikulak, who led the overall standings after the third event of the afternoon, was third on 274.650 ahead of Horton (271.350) and Dalton (269.550).
The top two men, based on combined scores from the U.S. nationals and Olympic trials, will earn automatic Olympic selection after the second day of competition on Saturday if they also finish in the top three in at least three events.
If not, the selection committee will pick two gymnasts on Saturday with the remaining three spots for the London Games to be added on Sunday.
(Editing by Ian Ransom)
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