Breakout Team USA star Brody Malone and Olympic veteran Sam Mikulak are set to compete in the men's individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Malone, 21, is competing at his first Games after winning his first all-around U.S. national title in April, then finishing first in the all-around ranks at the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials. The 28-year-old Mikulak, conversely, is competing in his third and final Olympic Games, seeking his first medal. He finished seventh in the all-around in 2016 and fourth on high bar; as a member of the 2012 team, he finished fifth, as the U.S. men's team also did this year.
Both Malone and Mikulak are typically strongest on the high bar, though Mikulak did not advance to the event final this year, instead making it on the parallel bars. Malone will compete again in the high bar final later this week.
The U.S. men are rotating together in the final, along with Turkey's Adem Asil and Ahmet Onder, Japan's Kitazono Takeru and Great Britain's James Hall.
The Russian Olympic Committee duo of Nikitia Nagornyy and Artur Dalaloyan — the last two world all-around champions — are favorites to top the podium in the all-around final. Dalaloyan tore his Achilles just over three months ago and was still a major player in lifting his team to the team gold two days ago.
Follow along below as the U.S. rotates through each apparatus.
U.S. on pommel horse
The always-exuberant Mikulak appeared elated after going second on pommel horse. He scored a 13.566, below his 13.900 from qualification. Malone put up a big-time routine, scoring a 14.100 to open his competition; he had scored a 13.733 in qualification.
Elsewhere in the rotation, Japan's Daiki Hashimoto threw down a big 14.833 floor routine, besting his 14.700 from the team final. The ROC's Nikita Nagornyy scored a 14.433 on floor, down from his 15.066 in qualification.
Standings after Rotation 1:
Daiki Hashimoto - 14.833
Xiao Ruoteng - 14.500
Caio Souza - 14.500
U.S. on rings
Mikulak got things started on the rings, scoring a 13.533 with a small hop on his dismount, under his 13.866 from qualification. Malone went next and earned a 13.833 after getting a 14.200 in qualifications.
Elsewhere around the rotation, China's Sun Wei scored a great 14.966 on the pommel horse, then Hashimoto followed up with a 15.166 (well above his 14.766 from qualifications). Great Britain's Joe Fraser came off in his routine and scored a 13.300.
Standings after Rotation 2:
Daiki Hashimoto - 29.999
Sun Wei - 29.466
Xiao Ruoteng - 29.400
U.S. on vault
Malone got thing started with a 14.366, including a substantial hop forward on the landing (he scored a 14.533 in qualification). Mikulak stuck the landing on his attempt, earning a 14.533, besting his 14.133 qualification performance.
Turkey's Adam Asil, rotating with the U.S., hit a 15.133 on vault. Elsewhere, Germany's Lukas Dauser scored a 15.400 on the parallel bars.
Standings after Rotation 3:
Xiao Ruoteng - 43.933
T- Sun Wei - 43.532
T- Daiki Hashimoto - 43.532
U.S. on parallel bars
Mikulak posted another strong parallel bars routine, albeit slightly off from his qualification attempt. He earned a 14.966 with a big hope forward on the dismount, down from his giant 15.433 in qualifications.
Malone went last and debuted a new mount on the parallel bars that will get named after him in the Code of Points. He scored a 13.466 for the routine, over a point below his qualification score of 14.633.
Elsewhere around the rotation, Nikita Nagornyy hit a 14.900 vault, besting his qualification score by two tenths.
Standings after Rotation 4:
Xiao Ruoteng - 58.633
Sun Wei - 58.432
Nikita Nagornyy - 58.265
U.S. on high bar
Both Malone and Mikulak were off of their usual high standards on the high bar. Malone scored a 14.400, down from his 14.533 in qualifications (which, in turn, was still a bit off for him). Mikulak, in his final high bar routine ever, scored a 13.633. He had a low score in qualifications as well, but in the team final, Mikulak put up a 14.566 on the apparatus.
Xiao Ruoteng and Nikita Nagornyy each had big parallel bar routines in this rotation. Ruoteng put up a 15.366 and Nagornyy a 15.400.
Standings after Rotation 5:
Xiao Ruoteng - 73.999
Nikita Nagornyy - 73.665
Hashimoto Daiki - 73.532
U.S. on floor