Five events were featured in the final day of competition at the 2019 Pan American Games and the skills and routines did not disappoint.
Balance beam and men’s vault started the meet, followed by women’s floor exercise and men’s parallel bars, and men’s high bar closed it all out. There were some close scores throughout the competition which made for an exciting top-three finish on each event. Here’s a recap:
A beam event final at any major competition is always one to look forward to. Athletes who have great confidence in their routines can shine, but at the same time, event finals can really test an athlete’s nerves. Wednesday’s competition showcased both of these characteristics.
GOLD: Kara Eaker, USA
Team USA’s Kara Eaker, took home the gold medal for an absolutely flawless routine. Balance beam is by far Eaker’s best event, and she showcased just that. After falling on the event in the all-around finals, it was great to see her compete the routine with such ease. The highlights in this routine were her triple series and her perfectly stuck dismount. Watch how the entire routine moves from one skill to the next.
Eaker won the event by more than a point, scoring a 15.266.
SILVER: Ellie Black, Canada
Ellie Black added yet another medal to her collection and a word to describe her 2019 Pan Am Games would be consistent. Nothing seems to phase her during competition and that was very evident in her beam finals routine. Black doesn’t quite have the artistry that Eaker has on this event, but her power and calmness throughout the routine made for a solid score.
She finished with a silver medal, scoring 13.566.
BRONZE: Riley McCusker, USA
Many might have thought it would be a fight for the gold and silver between McCusker and Eaker, but McCusker had a fall at the end of her routine. Even though she had a wobble to start her routine, I still can’t get enough of her back handspring, back handspring, two-foot layout series. McCusker uses her international-looking lines to her advantage, and it is stunning to watch. She overcooked her double back dismount and ended up sitting it down.
Even with a fall, it’s impressive McCusker was able to come away the bronze medal and a 13.333 score.
Three different countries took home medals in the men’s vault finals, and the three podium spots were about as close as it can get.
GOLD: Audrys Nin, Dominican Republic
Audrys Nin is bringing back Dominican Republic’s only event final medal from the 2019 Pan Am Games. His first vault had a tiny hop forward but the form in the air made up for it. Nin’s second vault, however, will make your mouth drop. Be sure to watch this one in slow motion.
Nin scored a 14.416 to take the gold.
SILVER: Jorge Alfredo Vega, Guatemala
Jorge Vega of Guatemala also won his country’s only event final medal. Vega just missed out on making floor finals, but he was one of the favorites to do well on vault. His landings were a bit awkward on both vaults but his execution in the air was great.
Vega missed the gold medal by less than a tenth. He scored a 13.383.
BRONZE: Alejandro De La Cruz, Cuba
Finishing in third, Cuba’s Alejandro De La Cruz competed two great vaults but lacked difficulty compared to Vega and Nin. Both of De La Cruz’s vaults had hops in the landing but the form in the air was close to perfect.
He finished with a 14.183 to take the bronze.
GOLD: Brooklyn Moors, Canada
With Brooklyn Moors’ gold-medal-winning floor routine, Canada put an athlete on the podium in every event final. From start to finish, Moors’ floor routine is unlike anyone else’s. The technique in her opening double front half out pass is amazing, and it doesn’t stop there. Moors had an out-of-bounds deduction in her last pass, but her artistry and dance elements really set her above the rest.
She scored a 13.9 to secure the gold.
SILVER: Kara Eaker, USA
Kara Eaker made a name for herself at this year’s Pan Ams. Before the 2019 season, many thought of Eaker as just a beam specialist. Now, she is walking away from the games with three individual medals. Her floor routine is full of twisting skills, an interesting contrast to the power we saw from Moors. Be sure to watch her back 2.5 to front full in her third pass
Missing the gold by just a tenth of a point, Eaker finished with a 13.8.
BRONZE: Flavia Saraiva, Brazil
Brazil has been a team on the rise since the 2016 season, and Flavia Saraiva has become such a fun competitor to watch. Her music and choreography are upbeat, matching her personality perfectly. Saraiva opened her routine with a double layout followed by a full in, and both had great landings. She looks like she loves to compete and it shows in how easy this routine is for her.
Saraiva scored a 13.766 to take home the bronze.
GOLD: Isaac Nunez, Mexico
It was another close finish for the men on parallel bars. Mexico’s Isaac Nunez came away with the gold medal by less than a tenth. He has flawless form and keeps great rhythm throughout the entire routine. He ends the routine with a double pike dismount and a small hop forward.
Nunez finished with a 14.433.
SILVER: Caio Souza, Brazil
Caio Souza’s routine was very different from Nunez’s. Souza’s was packed full of difficulty all the way from the double front tuck to arms at the beginning to the double front half out at the end. He had a few rhythm breaks throughout, which is ultimately why he finished second. When he hits this routine in the future, he will be hard to beat.
Souza’s 14.366 score gave him the silver.
BRONZE: Cameron Bock, USA
This was Cameron Bock’s first major senior elite international meet. Bock qualified for two event finals and was able to bring home a bronze medal for the U.S. on parallel bars. He had to make some readjustments through the routine, but his ability to save skills showed great fight. Bock’s second half of the routine, starting with his powerful Bhavsar, made up for the mistakes in the beginning.
He scored a 14.033.
Team Brazil absolutely dominated this event final. High bar is one of the most exciting events to watch and this final ended the Pan Am Games on a very high note.
GOLD: Francisco Carlos Barretto, Brazil
Starting from the very beginning, Barretto put together a high bar routine with very little deduction. Watching the routine, I thought his one arm giant was impressive, but then Barretto threw in three Tkatchev’s back to back to back. His form was top notch and his stuck full twisting double layout dismount was the perfect ending.
Barretto scored a 14.566 for the gold medal.
SILVER: Arthur Nory Mariano, Brazil
Mariano’s high bar routine had two tenths more in difficulty than his teammate Barretto. With that being said, Mariano’s set was packed full of releases, and he had some breaks in the routine that cost him some deductions. His layout Jaeger full and huge double twisting double layout were probably the most impressive parts.
Just 0.03 shy of the gold, Mariano scored a 14.533.
BRONZE: Huber Godoy, Cuba
Godoy’s stalder and in-bar work made this routine a lot different. He had two back-to-back Tkatchev’s but the difficulty wasn’t quite as high as Barretto and Mariano’s. Godoy’s execution score, however, was the highest of the day, which did help him get on the podium.
He finished his Pan Am Games with a 14.2 and a bronze medal for Cuba.
Team USA Wrap-Up
Between both the men’s and women’s teams, the U.S. took home eight event final medals: two golds, four silvers, and two bronze. Starting Aug. 8, the 2019 elite season will continue with the U.S. Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, and FIG World Championships will follow that.