After Wednesday's team final at the world gymnastics championships, Gophers junior Shane Wiskus said it had been a while since he'd had that much fun at a meet. No wonder, given the way the U.S. men rallied.
Wiskus and his teammates finished fourth in the men's team final in Stuttgart, Germany, moving up three places from a disappointing performance in Monday's qualification round. The Americans posted a total score of 254.578. Russia won the team championship with 261.726 points, followed by China (260.729) and Japan (258.159).
Wiskus competed on horizontal bar and floor exercise Wednesday, helping the U.S. to some of the highest marks of the day in those events. He hit both his routines, scoring 14.266 on floor and 13.533 on the high bar. The five-man U.S. team hit all 18 of its routines in the team final.
The U.S. men have earned a team medal at the world championships only four times, the most recent a bronze in 2014. They also finished fourth last year.
"Oh, my God, it was incredible,'' Wiskus told media in Germany after the competition. "It was so much different than qualification day. Everyone was excited going from each event. There was so much energy. Everyone was cheering louder.
"To go out in a meet error-free with an entire team is an incredible feat, and we managed to do that today. It feels amazing.''
Their seventh-place finish in qualifying gave the U.S. men a spot in the team competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
They improved significantly Wednesday, recording the second-highest team total on horizontal bar (42.215) and the third-highest team scores on floor exercise (43.332) and parallel bars (43.566). Wiskus hit all six of his routines during the two days of competition.