U.S. dominates 2023 Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships, winning 20 medals

By Patricia Duffy | May 30, 2023
The U.S. men's and women's teams for the 2023 Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
The U.S. men's and women's teams for the 2023 Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships. (© Amy Sanderson/UPAG)

The United States men’s and women’s teams dominated the 2023 Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships over the weekend, winning 20 medals and nearly sweeping all of the top spots.

U.S. men continue outstanding international season

The haul started Friday, when the men took the floor for team qualifications as all-around and individual titles were on the line.

The two Olympians on the U.S. team, Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus, won gold (84.200) and silver (82.800), respectively, in the all-around. Brazil’s Yuri Guimaraes rounded out the podium with the bronze (81.566).

Individually, the medals stacked up.

On floor, the 2017 world bronze medalist, Moldauer, showed his prowess, earning a 14.500 to best the field, followed by Guimaraes (14.433) and Wiskus (14.200). Khoi Young (USA) was just off the podium in fourth (14.100), but he had no trouble besting the field on pommel horse, winning gold with a (14.300). Puerto Rico’s Christian Morales was second (13.500), and Moldauer was third (13.367).

On parallel bars, Curran Phillips (USA), suffered an uncharacteristic fall and ended up ninth (13.533). In his stead, Moldauer (14.567) and Wiskus (14.100) once again went 1-2, followed by Dilan Jimenez Giraldo (COL) with the bronze (13.867). Phillips was redeemed on high bar, though, winning with a 13.833. Moldauer was second (13.600), and Wiskus was two-per-countried out of the bronze (13.533). Instead, Chile’s Luciano Letelier completed the podium with a 13.500.

The U.S. was medal-less only on rings (Moldauer was fourth with a 13.733) and vault, where no team members competed two vaults in order to be eligible.

Argentina’s Daniel Villafane won rings (14.133) followed by Canada’s William Emard (13.933) and Cuba’s Alejandro de la Cruz (13.833).

Only 13 male athletes competed two vaults, with Guimaraes emerging victorious with a 14.300 average. Chile’s Ignacio Varas won the silver (14.284), and Leandro Pena won the bronze (13.933).

The U.S. men qualified first to the team final with a 250.032, followed by Brazil (236.799) and Colombia (233.899). The team repeated a similar performance on Sunday, winning gold with a 247.499. Canada jumped to silver (238.599) after qualifying fourth, while Brazil was third with a 234.901.

U.S. women keep the ball rolling

A year after an impressive four-medal haul at junior Pan Ams, Tiana Sumanasekera once again rose to the occasion, winning the all-around in Medellin with a 53.900. Mexico’s Natalia Escalera won the silver with a 53.266, and Canada’s Aurelie Tran rounded out the podium with the bronze (52.867). Team USA’s Nola Matthews was fourth with a 52.267.

Individually, the U.S. women took seven medals, occupying podium spots on all four events.

Joscelyn Roberson (13.583 average) was second to Mexico’s vault legend Alexa Moreno (13.700), with Escalera winning bronze (13.316).

On bars, Matthews was the only athlete to break the 14.000 mark, earning that score exactly to win gold. Teammate Addison Fatta won silver with a 13.667 as Escalera added yet another bronze with a 13.600.

Sumanasekera backed up her beam gold from 2022 by repeating the win at the senior level with a 13.767. Roberson won silver with a 13.267, and Tran won bronze with a 13.167. The U.S. duo swapped places on floor, where Roberson won gold (14.100), and Sumanasekera took the silver (13.567). Escalera won her third individual bronze and fourth overall medal with a 13.200.

A year after losing to Brazil, the U.S. women qualified first to the team final with a 162.167, more than two points ahead of Mexico (159.099). Canada qualified third (155.768), and Brazil qualified fourth (150.399). In the final, the U.S. improved on their qualifying score to win gold with a 163.700 as Mexico (154.698) and Canada (150.998) maintained their positions to win silver and bronze, respectively. Brazil finished a surprising fifth after posting a 146.234 – more than four points less than qualifying.

Team USA’s Zoe Miller suffered a concussion during training while in Colombia, so traveling alternate Madray Johnson replaced her.

World and Pan Am Games implications

Pan Ams serves as the continental championship for North, Central, and South America. As such, it is a direct qualifier for the 2023 world championships for those nations who have not yet qualified.

Based on results, the following nations have qualified teams or individuals to worlds:

Men

Five-person teams (4)

  • USA (pre-qualified)
  • Brazil (pre-qualified)
  • Colombia
  • Canada

All-arounders (6)

  • Isaac Nunez (Mexico)
  • Joel Alvarez (Chile)
  • Andres Perez Gines (Puerto Rico)
  • Santiago Mayol (Argentina)
  • Rodrigo Gomez (Mexico)
  • Diorges Escobar (Cuba)

Women

Five-person teams (5)

  • USA (pre-qualified)
  • Brazil (pre-qualified)
  • Canada (pre-qualified)
  • Mexico
  • Argentina

All-arounders (11)

  • Sydney Barros (Puerto Rico)
  • Olivia Kelly (Barbados)
  • Karla Navas (Panama)
  • Ginna Escobar (Colombia)
  • Alais Perea (Ecuador)
  • Lynnzee Brown (Haiti)
  • Makarena Pinto (Chile)
  • Yiseth Valenzuela (Colombia)
  • Franchesca Santi (Chile)
  • Lana Herrera (Panama)
  • Ana Karina Mendez (Peru)

While both the U.S. men and women have already qualified to the 2023 world championships in Belgium, the competition also earned nations berths to the 2023 Pan American Games, which will take place in Chile in late October and early November.

Based on results, the following nations have qualified teams or individuals to the Pan Am Games:

Men

Five-person teams (9)

  • United States
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • Cuba
  • Puerto Rico
  • Chiles

Two individuals (4)

  • Dominican Republic
  • Peru
  • Venezuela
  • Ecuador

One individual (7)

  • Jamaica
  • Panama
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Bolivia
  • Guatemala

Women

Five-person teams (9)

  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Puerto Rico
  • Colombia
  • Panama
  • Chile

Two individuals (4)

  • Ecuador
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Venezuela

One individual (6)

  • Barbados
  • Haiti
  • Peru
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Jamaica
  • El Salvador