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Busy World Cup Season Begins in Baku
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The 2016 World Cup season kicked off Thursday with the World Challenge Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, the first first of seven FIG events scheduled for this spring. Pictured: Oleg Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan) qualified to the finals on still rings.

The 2016 World Cup season kicked off Thursday with the World Challenge Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, the first first of seven FIG events scheduled for this spring.

Baku, which played host to the first European Games last summer, attracted top gymnasts from 19 nation for its first World Cup event in artistic gymnastics. Friday's competition, held at the spectacular National Gymnastics Arena, featured the first day of two days of qualification. The top eight gymnasts in each event qualify to Sunday's event finals.

With an incredible seventh Olympic Games in her sights, the 40-year-old Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan) continued to inspire with her first place on women's vault. Chusovitina vaulted a very clean full-twisting handspring layout front full and Tsukahara 1 1/2. Croatian Tjaša Kysselef took second over four-time Brazilian Olympian Daniele Hypólito.

First-year senior Lina Philipp from Germany, who turns 16 in September, qualified first on uneven bars over Brazilian Flávia Saraiva and Hypólito.

Two-time world floor exercise champion Kenzo Shirai (Japan) had a rare fall, but still qualified third to the final behind Israel's Artem Dolgopyat and Azerbaijan's Petro Pakhnyuk.

Japan's Tomomasa Hasegawa (Japan) qualified first on pommel horse over Belgium's Maxime Gentges and Norway's Stian Skjerahaug. World bronze medalist Kazuma Kaya (Japan) attempted a 7.2-Difficulty routine but had two major breaks to place ninth.

İbrahim Çolak from neighboring Turkey was first on still rings over Hasegawa and Azerbaijan's star gymnast Oleg Stepko.

Azerbaijan, which fielded a team of former Russian and Ukrainian competitors, qualified gymnasts to four of the five finals.

The World Challenge Cup in Baku is the first in a series of events over the next six weeks:. Coming up is the American Cup (all-around), March 5 in Newark, New Jersey, USA; the Glasgow World Cup (all-around) March 12 in Scotland; the DTB Cup (all-around) March 19-20 in Stuttgart, Germany; the Doha World Challenge Cup (apparatus) March 24-26 in Qatar; the Turnier der Meister (apparatus) March 31-April 3 in Cottbus; and the Ljubljana World Challenge Cup (apparatus) April 4-8 in Slovenia.

Competition continues Saturday in Baku with the second day of qualification.

External Link: Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation

2016 FIG Challenger Cup
February 19, Baku, Azerbaijan

Women's Vault QualificationDENDScoreAverage
1.Oksana Chusovitina5.89.05014.85014.750 Q
2.Tjaša Kysselef5.39.05014.35014.000 Q
3.Daniele Hypólito5.08.90013.90013.850 Q
4.Lisa Ecker5.08.85013.85013.675 Q
5.Elisa Hämmerle5.28.50013.70013.500 Q
6.Dorina Böczögő5.08.70013.70013.425 Q
7.Dilnoza Abdusalimova4.88.65013.45013.300 Q
8.Maria Smirnova4.88.65013.45013.150 Q
9.Ekin Morova4.08.55012.55012.850 R
10.Marina Nekrasova4.67.2000.111.70012.600 R

Uneven Bars QualificationDENDScore
1.Lina Philipp5.68.25013.850 Q
2.Flávia Saraiva5.78.15013.850 Q
3.Daniele Hypólito5.67.80013.400 Q
4.Lisa Ecker4.88.15012.950 Q
5.Florine Harder5.77.10012.800 Q
6.Yulia Inshina4.47.90012.300 Q
7.Yana Horokhova5.07.20012.200 Q
8.Tzuf Feldon4.87.15011.950 Q
9.Dilnoza Abdusalimova4.17.80011.900 R
10.Marina Nekrasova4.67.00011.600 R
11.Tutya Yılmaz 4.96.50011.400 R
12.Demet Mutlu5.16.00011.100
13.Elisa Hämmerle5.05.50010.500

Men's Floor Exercise QualificationDENDScore
1.Artem Dolgopyat6.78.45015.150 Q
2.Petro Pakhnyuk6.48.55014.950 Q
3.Kenzo Shirai7.47.6500.214.850 Q
4.Rok Klavora6.18.60014.700 Q
5.Tomislav Markovic6.38.35014.650 Q
6.Naoto Hayasaka6.68.1500.114.650 Q
7.Ahmet Onder6.08.55014.550 Q
8.Alexander Shatilov6.48.1500.214.350 Q
9.Maksym Semiankiv5.98.30014.200 R
10.Stian Skjerahaug5.68.55014.150 R
11.Scott Morgan6.18.3500.314.150 R
12.Eduard Shaulov5.98.2500.114.050
13.Oleg Stepko6.28.4000.614.000
14.Žiga Šilc6.08.3000.314.000
15.Vitalijs Kardasovs5.48.55013.95
16.Kevin Lytwyn6.38.0000.413.900
17.Oleksandr Petrenko5.97.7500.113.550
18.Andrej Korosteljev6.17.0000.412.700
19.Adrià Vera6.36.25012.55
20.Odin Kalvo5.86.7500.312.250

Pommel Horse QualificationDENDScore
1.Tomomasa Hasegawa6.88.30015.100 Q
2.Maxime Gentges6.18.65014.750 Q
3.Stian Skjerahaug5.98.50014.400 Q
4.Ferhat Arıcan6.18.15014.250 Q
5.Saeed Reza Keikha6.08.15014.150 Q
5.Renato Prpić6.08.15014.150 Q
7.Dmitrijs Trefilovs5.88.25014.050 Q
8.Artem Dolgopyat5.58.50014.000 Q
9.Kazuma Kaya7.27.1000.314.000 R
10.Anton Olivson6.07.80013.800 R
11.Alexander Shatilov5.68.10013.700 R
12.Oleg Stepko6.76.75013.450
13.Illia Yehorov5.87.60013.400
14.Jackson Payne6.76.40013.100
15.Kristijan Vugrinski5.87.25013.050
16.Luka Kišek5.27.35012.550
17.Marcus Conradi5.76.70012.400
18.Petro Pakhnyuk5.86.15011.950
19.Nestor Abad5.86.10011.900
20.Ahmet Onder5.95.90011.800
21.Andres Martín5.85.50011.300
22.Eduard Shaulov4.95.95010.850

Still Rings QualificationDENDScore
1.İbrahim Çolak6.78.35015.050 Q
2.Tomomasa Hasegawa6.08.65014.650 Q
3.Oleg Stepko6.28.45014.650 Q
4.Scott Morgan6.58.05014.550 Q
5.Kevin Lytwyn6.18.30014.400 Q
6.Ruben López6.47.75014.150 Q
7.Adrià Vera5.58.35013.850 Q
8.Vladyslav Hryko5.87.85013.650 Q
9.Kazuma Kaya6.37.15013.450 R
10.Moran Yanuka5.28.20013.400 R
11.Marcus Conradi5.37.80013.100 R
12.Andrey Medvedev5.36.85012.150
13.Odin Kalvo4.37.75012.050
14.Volodymyr Hrybuk5.86.20012.000
15.Petro Pakhnyuk5.76.00011.700
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