[SPORTS] Best U.S. Gymnast Ken Tan Faltering
- U.S. Men Falter in Gymnastics
From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Halfway through his routine, America's best gymnast on the still
rings was in such bad shape, his coach had to run onto the podium to
catch him in case he fell.
And indeed, Kevin Tan finished the set on his backside.
It got worse from there for the U.S. men, who put in an error-filled
effort during qualifying at the world gymnastics championships
Saturday in Aarhus, Denmark, that left the rebuilding team in severe
jeopardy of not making team finals.
Tan had an out: He came down with food poisoning when he got to
Denmark last week and wasn't anywhere near full strength for what
was supposed to be one of the U.S. team's best routines of the day.
The other five Americans may have felt ill afterward.
It was quite a comedown for a team that won the silver medal two
years ago at the Athens Olympics. Not a single gymnast from that
team headlined by Paul and Morgan Hamm and Blaine Wilson is on
the 2006 squad.
Team coordinator Ron Brant conceded it would be a surprise for the
Americans to be back in the gym Tuesday for team finals.
Eight teams qualify, and the United States had already fallen to
sixth with seven of nine subdivisions yet to go. As expected, China
led with 370.450 points, followed by Japan with 367.750. Those two
will likely vie for the gold.
Hometown: Fremont, Calif.
Residence: Fremont, Calif.
Birth Date/Place: Sept. 24, 1981/Fremont, Calif.
Club: Top Flight Gymnastics
Coach: Greg Corsiglia
School: Mission San Jose High School
Year in School: Senior (Fall '99)
Began Gymnastics: 1987
Favorite Event: Parallel Bars
Years on Jr. National Team: 2 (1996-97, 1999-00)