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Frederick Richard achieves a first at Olympic Gymnastics Trials with 52-year history at stake

Turns out, Frederick Richard might not be done making age history.

Richard, a 20-year-old rising Michigan junior, leads after the first night of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials.

He edged three-time national champion Brody Malone by a half-point in Minneapolis on Thursday.

If Richard can hold onto that lead through the second and final day of competition Saturday (3 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock), he will become the youngest man to win trials since 1972 (Steve Hug, if counting all four days of competition from 1972).

GYMNASTICS TRIALS: Broadcast Schedule | Results

Last October, Richard won bronze in the all-around in his world championships debut. He became the youngest U.S. man to ever win an individual world medal.

That medal — the first for an American man in a world all-around since 2010 — helped make him a front-runner to make the five-man Olympic team. That roster will be named after trials.

Richard, who has 663,000 TikTok followers, achieved something else Thursday. He topped the all-around standings at a senior national elite meet for the first time.

He also became the first American to outscore Malone in a completed elite all-around since the second day of the 2021 U.S. Championships, when Sam Mikulak did so.

Richard’s score of 85.6 on Thursday was lower than Malone’s two scores and Richard’s second-day score at the Xfinity U.S. Championships four weeks ago. Both men made mistakes.

Still, Richard made good on his comments after placing runner-up to Malone at nationals.

“(Malone) is definitely going to push me in the gym because I don’t like second,” Richard said then. “Just wait ‘til trials.”

Trials continue Friday with the first of two days of women’s competition, live on Peacock from 7:30-10 p.m. ET and on NBC from 8-10.

Clarification: At the 1972 Olympic Trials, Steve Hug posted the highest score over four days of competition counting semifinals and finals. If counting just finals, 25-year-old Makoto Sakamoto had the highest score.

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