Adam Pummer wins in Teipei competition

By Mike Czapar

On Dec. 18 and 19, when most students were leaving campus for the holiday break, junior Illinois gymnast Adam Pummer was a long way from his Allentown, Penn., home. Pummer spent the first weekend of break representing the United States at a meet in Taipei, Taiwan, winning the parallel bars title at the 12th annual Taipei International Invitational.

In addition to scoring a 9.225 to win the parallel bars, Pummer also notched a 9.065 to take second place in the vault and a 9.0 to capture third place on the high bar. Pummer was the only American to place first at the meet, and one of only two Americans who were fortunate enough to participate in the meet. Pummer competed with former Penn State gymnast Kevin Tan.

Head coach Yoshi Hayasaki said the competition in Taiwan has shown how strong of a performer Pummer has become and how much of a plus the international experience will be to the Illini squad.

“Adam has really started to come around this season,” Hayasaki said. “He’s been a key performer for us the last two years, and in this competition having him come out so strong is going to be a really big plus for us this season.”

The Taipei competition is by invitation only and features some of the most talented gymnasts from around the world. It is one of the largest international gymnastics competitions in Asia.

Pummer said he entered the competition unsure as to how things would go but was very pleased to be taking part in the competition and impressed with how well the meet was run.

“It was really great and I was really excited to be there,” Pummer said. “It was a little different though because I didn’t really know what to expect. I was competing against guys I knew nothing about and that was a little intimidating at first. But, by the second day Kevin and I both hit strong routines.”

Although Pummer performed exceptionally overseas, he said he is glad to be back competing with his teammates in collegiate competition.

“It’s a lot harder without having the team behind you at a meet backing you up,” Pummer said. “It was a great experience, but I was glad to get back and compete with my team.”