SAN JOSE, California- After two nerve-wracking days at the SAP Center, Asher Hong, 19,  concluded the event by standing atop the podium with a gold medal looped over his neck. Hong, with a staggering two-day total of 170.930, won the men’s all-around competition at the Xfinity U.S. Championships. He officially became the youngest US men’s champion in 34 years since Tim Ryan in 1989. 

Khoi Young, his Stanford teammate, closely followed his record with a two-day total of 169.455. Fred Richard, the current NCAA all-around champion, on the other hand, finished third with a two-day total of 169.311.

Curious to see who will fill the shoes of Brody Malone, the two-time defending champion who’s currently on a break due to his injury, the audience and gymnast enthusiasts alike closely followed the athletes’ scores for two days. 

Although Hong’s scores on the floor exercise, high bar, parallel bars, and pommel horse were not as strong as his competitors, the Texas native was able to redeem himself when he dominated the vault and still rings competitions, in which he scored 30.560 (1st) and 30.098 (2nd), respectively.

After tallying all scores from the six categories, Hong still came out victorious on the second day of the Championships.

“It’s awesome,” Hong said. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work … just to get to this point of feeling consistent and comfortable with all of these routines. To see it pay off in the end is very relieving.”

“You need to come swinging with your team,” Hong said of competing alongside his college teammates. “That’s why I love having 11 of my guys out here with me, competing with me, so it’s really easy to keep the energy up.”

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As the championships officially closed, the five athletes who will represent the USA team in the upcoming FIG 2023 Artistic World Championships (September 30-October 8, 2023) in Antwerp, Belgium, prepared themselves. Hong, being on top, will become the focal point in the competition. Joining him in Belgium are Khoi Young, Fred Richard, Paul Juda, and Yul Moldauer. 

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