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Brody Malone wins U.S. all-around gymnastics title in return from injury

Brody Malone will again go into the Olympic Trials as the reigning U.S. all-around champion, but much changed in the three years since the Tokyo Games.

Malone, a world champion returning from three knee surgeries in 2023, won the Xfinity U.S. Championships convincingly by 2.05 points over world bronze medalist Frederick Richard.

Malone built on his 1.6-point lead from Thursday’s first day of competition to prevail on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.

“It just feels amazing, with everything I’ve gone through, be able to come back and make a comeback like I have and be competitive enough to be on the top again,” he said.

XFINITY U.S. CHAMPIONSHIPS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Malone and Richard are in strong position to make the five-man team for the Paris Olympics.

At Olympic Trials from June 27-30 in Minneapolis, the all-around winner automatically makes the team if he is also among the top three on three of the six apparatus.

A committee picks the rest of the roster, leaning heavily on scores from this week’s meet and trials.

In 2021, Malone won the all-around in his senior national championships debut and was part of the U.S. men’s team that placed fifth in Tokyo.

In 2022, Malone repeated as U.S. champion, then took fourth in the all-around at the world championships and won the world title on high bar.

That momentum came to a halt on March 18, 2023. Malone blew out his right knee on a high bar dismount fall, had three surgeries and returned to competition 10 months later.

This week, he performed in the all-around (all six apparatus) for the first time since sustaining the injuries.

“I didn’t really know how it was going to go,” he said. “I knew I was prepared, but I mean it’s a different ballgame when I haven’t done an all-around meet in that long.”

He scored 85.95 points on Thursday, then upped it to 86.35 on Saturday. His top score at nationals in 2022 was 86.75 (excluding bonus points).

Without Malone, the U.S. men won team bronze at last October’s world championships, their first medal since 2014.

On July 29, they will bid for an Olympic team medal for the first time since 2008, and it looks like they’ll have Malone back on the squad.

“Let’s just say we’re going to be very deadly,” said Richard, bidding for his first Olympics. “This is going to be a fun Olympics. This is going to be amazing. We are fully loaded, stronger than I’ve ever seen the U.S. in years.”

Last year, Richard went from third in the all-around in the country in August to third in the all-around in the world in October.

At age 19, he became the youngest U.S. man to win an individual medal in world championships history.

This week, the University of Michigan rising junior was second to Malone in the all-around and on high bar, plus won floor exercise.

“Brody’s a dog, number one,” Richard said. “So much respect for him. So much respect to just come back and dominate. He’s definitely going to push me in the gym because I don’t like second. Just wait ‘til trials.”

Khoi Young, who won three medals at worlds, impressed at nationals by posting the highest single vault score each night and the best pommel horse score on Saturday, plus placing second overall on parallel bars.

Others in contention to make the team for Paris going into Olympic Trials include 2023 U.S. all-around champ Asher Hong, 2017 U.S. all-around champ Yul Moldauer and 2016 Olympic alternate Donnell Whittenburg.

The Xfinity U.S. Championships finish with the second day of women’s competition on Sunday, live at 7 p.m. ET on NBC,, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

Richard soars to second at U.S. Championships
Frederick Richard showed improvement on every event during the second of two competitions days at the Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships to finish second in the all-around.