Donnell Whittenburg told IG that he will need steady performances, such as those he produced in winning last weekend's U.S. men's national qualifier in Colorado Springs, to earn a high rank at next month's P&G (U.S.) Championships in Pittsburgh.
Donnell Whittenburg (U.S.)
"The most important thing I need to do to stay at a top position is just to stay consistent," said Whittenburg, whose all-around score of 87.95 at the qualifier placed him first over silver medalist Paul Ruggeri (87.20) and bronze medalist John Orozco (86.45). "If I can be consistent and hit my routines on all six events at championships, I truly believe that I can place in one of the top spots."
Whittenburg, who will turn 20 on Aug. 18, said he has been concentrating on making the elements of his routines more reliable, in order to compete with more confidence and stability.
"For me, I have always struggled somewhat with consistency," said Whittenburg, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. "Now during my training, I make sure that all of my skills are consistent enough for me to be comfortable when I compete."
A native of Baltimore, Whittenburg placed first all-around in the Junior 16-18 division at the 2012 Visa (U.S.) Championships, and ninth all-around at the 2013 P&G (U.S.) Championships.
His international achievements include sixth place all-around at the 2012 Mexican Open in Acapulco; fifth with the U.S. team at the 2013 DTB Cup in Stuttgart; and fourth on paralel bars and sixth on floor exercise at the 2014 Challenge Cup of Doha, Qatar.
Whittenburg said he would be a valuable asset to the U.S. team at this fall's world championships in Nanning.
"The greatest value that I could provide at the world championships would be floor, rings and vault," he said. "I feel those are my most stable and consistent events, where I can post a high score that can help the team. Though if needed, I could also provide decent scores on parallel bars and pommel horse, as well."
Until then, Whittenburg plans a meticulous training regimen.
"I'm going to focus on cleaning up certain skills in my routines and, most of all, hitting routines," he told IG. "That's the most important thing I have to do during that time span."
International Gymnast magazine's recent coverage of U.S. male gymnasts includes:
Jake Dalton cover photo (April 2013)
"Jacob's Ladder" – Dalton profile (July/August 2011)
"10 Questions with Jim Hartung" – interview (May 2014)
Quest Hayden profile, Dan and Dennis Hayden update (December 2013)
Jonathan Horton two-page center poster (April 2011)
"Catching up with Steve Hug" – profile (December 2013)
"United State" – Danell Leyva/Yin Alvarez profile (May 2010)
Leyva cover photo (September 2011)/(April 2012)
"Back to the Future" – Leyva cover photo and profile (December 2012)
"Sam I Am" – Sam Mikulak cover photo and interview (July/August 2013)
Mikulak two-page center poster (April 2014)
"Ready to Rise Again" – John Orozco center poster and profile (November 2012)
"Bronx Bomber" – Orozco interview (April 2012)
"Athlete Retreat" – visit to U.S. Olympic Training Center (October 2011)
To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.