Sunisa Lee shines as Skye Blakely wins American Classic

Lee shrugged off a niggling ankle injury to post top scores on beam and uneven bars, while 2019 Worlds team-mate Kara Eaker could only finish fifth in all-around event.

By Rory Jiwani
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Sunisa Lee was the standout performer at the American Classic on Saturday (24 April) with two apparatus wins in Indianapolis.

Her first rotation was the balance beam where she shone with a routine high in difficulty apart from a layout dismount, due to a long-standing ankle injury, and earned a best score of 14.550.

Lee's floor exercise, the event where she took silver behind Simone Biles at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, is very much a work in progress due to that ankle injury.

Despite two layouts she was awarded 13.000, still good enough for fifth place, before passing on vault.

Her final rotation, the uneven bars, was excellent with her score of 15.200 exceeding the 15.050 she achieved at the Winter Cup in late February.

Kara Eaker competed on all four apparatus but made a poor start with her knees tucked throughout her one and a half twisting Yurchenko and scored just 13.050.

Eaker, part of USA's gold medal-winning teams at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, had the same score on uneven bars before enjoying her best performance of the day on balance beam.

That yielded a score of 14.100 and third place, but her floor exercise was a disappointment with a mark of 12.500 giving her a total of 52.700 and fifth place overall.

The event victory went to Skye Blakely who was second on beam behind Lee and fourth on the other three apparatus.

Blakely, who turned 16 in February, posted an all-around score of 55.350, nine-tenths ahead of vault winner and 2019 American Cup champion Leanne Wong.

After winning on floor, Karis German (53.250) took third place ahead of Addison Fatta (52.900).

Grace McCallum, a team-mate of Eaker at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, only competed on balance beam and was fourth on that apparatus with 13.900.

This was McCallum's first competition since the last Worlds with Eaker's only event in that time being held by her gym in February.