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Rivera Wins Puerto Rican Championships
(5 votes, average 4.40 out of 5)

2008 Olympian Luis Rivera won the Puerto Rican national championships, held Saturday in Carolina.

2008 Olympian Luis Rivera won the elite men's title at the 31st Puerto Rican national championships, held Saturday in Carolina.

Rivera scored 87.35 to top Alexander Rodríguez (85.00) and 2004 Olympian Luis Vargas (84.90).

Vargas — known across Puerto Rico as "Tingui" for his tenacity — won individual titles on parallel bars and high bar.

Rafael "Kibler" Morales won floor exercise and pommel horse. Tommy Ramos — like Vargas a former gymnast for Penn State — won still rings while Alexis Torres won vault.

Head coach José Colon said he planned for a low-key competition in Carolina in order to keep his gymnasts healthy for the world championships in Tokyo. The team already lost Reynaldo Oquendo, who was injured during training and will miss worlds.

"The national championship is part of our preparation, as the most important thing for us was the Puerto Rico Cup where we saw the Pan American teams," Colon said. "Not that (the national championship) is not important, but see it more as a workout to determine the routine order and strategy."

Ramos, Rivera, Rodríguez and Vargas were members of Puerto Rico's first-place team at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, where they upset Brazil and the U.S. by tenths of a point.

Nicknamed "Los Golden Boys" since their 2007 achievement, the Puerto Rican men's team is aiming for an Olympic berth. The team, 12th at the 2010 Worlds, must place among the the top eight in Tokyo to clinch qualification to the 2012 Olympics. Teams placing ninth through 14th advance to the Olympic qualification event in January in London, where a further four teams will earn qualification.

Two weeks after the world championships, the Puerto Rican men will try to defend their team title at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara. However, the plan is for the gymnasts to peak in Tokyo, Colon said.

"What is important is Japan," he said. "The only thing missing is an Olympic medal, and that's what everyone in the Puerto Rican Gymnastics Federation is working toward."

The Puerto Rican men's squad leaves Aug. 21 for a world training camp in Romania.

External Link: Puerto Rico Gymnastics Federation

31st Puerto Rican Championships
Aug. 13, Carolina

Senior Men's All-AroundFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1. Luis Rivera CGC 5.9 14.65 6.0 14.85 6.2 14.90 6.6 15.30 5.7 14.35 5.7 13.30 87.35
2. Alexander Rodríguez CFG 6.1 15.00 6.1 14.60 4.5 13.25 6.6 15.85 5.5 12.65 5.9 13.65 85.00
3. Luis Vargas MET 5.6 14.55 5.6 12.80 5.6 13.25 6.2 15.30 5.7 14.40 6 14.60 84.90
4. Alexis Torres DLG 6.0 14.35 5.2 12.90 6.2 14.70 6.6 15.90 5.3 12.65 5.6 13.50 84.00
5. Tristian Perez CGC 5.4 14.25 4.4 13.00 5.1 13.50 6.2 14.95 4.5 11.95 4.9 13.15 80.80
6. Emanuel Gomez ZGG 5.3 11.90 5.2 11.45 5.5 13.70 6.2 14.60 5.1 12.45 5 12.95 77.05
7. Jaime da Silva MGA 5.3 12.75 4.2 10.35 4.3 11.60 5.4 14.20 4.6 12.90 4.9 13.10 74.90
8. Derrick Hernandez CFG 5.2 13.00 4.4 10.90 5.4 14.25 4.3 12.40 3.4 10.65 61.20
9. Rafael Morales CFG 5.8 15.05 5.7 15.05 5.8 13.30 6.6 15.45 58.85
10. Sergio Ramos IND 5.7 14.35 4.5 12.20 6.6 15.25 5.3 12.75 54.55
11. Tommy Ramos MET 4.9 9.45 6.4 15.35 5.7 14.15 5.5 11.80 50.75
12. Yamil Rosario ZERO-PUR 6.0 12.45 5.1 13.45 6.2 15.15 41.05
13. Ilan Rosario ZERO-PUR 5.7 12.45 6.6 15.85 28.30
14. Samory Ortiz CFG 4.8 12.40 5.4 13.75 26.15
15. Ivan Molina CFG 5.0 11.60 4.7 11.85 23.45
16. Eliezer Calixto CFG 5.0 13.25 4.0 10.05 23.30
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