Tuesday, August 7, 10:37 a.m. ET
It isn't inconceivable that the U.S. will start the final apparatus of the competition without a men's medal. This could put some pressure on the two participants, which will play right into one of their hands.
They will be facing some tough competition. China poses the biggest threat. Zou Kai is the defending world champion, and teammate Zhang Chenglong had the best score in qualification.
Other favorites include Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands, who was second in the qualifying round.
Of all the men on the U.S. team, Horton is the most experienced and responds best to pressure. He won the silver medal on this apparatus in 2008 with very little preparation.
With a desire to finally grab a U.S. medal, Horton changed up his routine three days prior to his competition. He added to the degree of difficulty and nailed his performance.
Look for another stellar performance and a podium appearance in this event for the second consecutive Olympics. Like Beijing, he'll also need to roll out a much more difficult performance. His qualification routine only had a 6.8 difficulty score, which is well behind the 7.5 from other competitors.
But that can be mostly fixed with a different dismount.
Leyva finished third in qualifications, two spots ahead of Horton. He will also need to roll out a more difficult routine in the finals, as his starting degree of difficulty was only 7.2.
There is a chance both could reach the podium in the event, making this their best possibility for a medal in the individual events.