MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fred Richard and Brody Malone can get their passports ready for Paris.

The men’s gymnasts finished atop the leaderboard at the end of the U.S. Olympic trials on Saturday, essentially clinching their spots on the five-man team that will head to the Olympics with legitimate medal hopes.

The team and two alternates will be named later Saturday evening. Richard and Malone have little reason to sweat it out.

Richard, a junior a Michigan and bronze medalist in the all-around at the 2023 world championships, put together two solid days to finish with an all-around total of 170.500. Malone, a three-time national champion and a 2020 Olympian, finished right behind Frederick at 170.300.

Malone is returning to the games less than 18 months removed from a devastating right knee injury that nearly derailed his career.

The leading list of contenders to join Richard and Malone include Paul Juda, Asher Hong and pommel horse specialist Stephen Nedoroscik.

Whoever goes to Paris with them have a chance to do something no American squad has since the 2008 Olympics: reach the podium in the team final.

A young U.S. team led by the 20-year-old Richard and the 20-year-old Hong surged to a somewhat surprising bronze at the world championships last fall. With defending champion Russia unable to defend its title due to the war in Ukraine, the door is wide open for the Americans to medal on the sport’s biggest stage for the first time since the six-man group led by Jonathan Horton claimed bronze in Beijing 16 years ago.


AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games