Morgan Hurd's quest for her first spot on Team USA's Olympics team got off to a successful start as the gymnast won her second all-around title at the American Cup this weekend.
It is the second time in three years that the 18-year-old has won the title, which is the first major international competition in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics.
Hurd scored a total of 55.832 to win with fellow American Kayla DiCello coming in second with 55.132. In third was Hitomi Hatakeda of Japan with a score of 53.799.
She finished first in the uneven bars, second in the floor and finally third in the vault and balance beam. The Guardian reports that Hurd said she felt “strangely calm” at the competition.
On Twitter, she wrote: "Felt amazing to get back out there today. Always such an honor to represent USA. So insanely proud of Kayla for hitting in her senior debut and so glad I got to compete with her. thank you everyone for your endless support."
The win for Hurd comes after a difficult 2019 for the athlete, and Tom Forster, the US national women's coordinator said it was "a watershed for her". He explained: “This was her opportunity to state who she is as an athlete, not to be ignored. I think she felt ignored for not making the world team last fall.
“You never know how the athletes are going to handle that. Some get really sad and it kind of crumbles their self-confidence. Others get mad and do something about it. That’s what you hope for, and that’s exactly what she did. She made a statement.”
For DiCello, it was her first senior international event, after winning the all-around junior title at the 2019 US championships. After the event, she said: “I was nervous, but I was also really excited.
“I just tried to keep my mind calm and just focus on what I was doing at the time.”
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