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Vernyayev Leads Impressive Lineup for University Games
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Olympic gold medalist Oleg Vernyayev headlines an impressive field of gymnasts for the 2017 University Games in Taipei, which begins Saturday.

Olympic gold medalist Oleg Vernyayev (Ukraine) headlines an impressive field of gymnasts for the 2017 University Games in Taipei, which begins Saturday.

The 29th Universiade will bring together more than 7,500 athletes from 121 nations competing in 21 summer sports. It is the largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. To be eligible to compete at the University Games, athletes must be between 17 and 28 years old, and have taken at least one 3-credit university course or received a diploma within the past year. Incoming students enrolled at universities for this fall are also typically eligible to compete.

The impressive gymnastics lineup includes 70 women and 128 men in artistic gymnastics, and 83 rhythmic gymnastics, many aiming for this fall's world championships. The gymnastics field boasts numerous Olympians and international stars, led by defending all-around champion Oleg Vernyayev, who was the most decorated gymnast at the 2015 University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, with two gold (all-around, parallel bars), one silver (floor exercise) and three bronze medals (team, rings and vault).

Yuya Kamoto and Shogo Nonomura, who led Japan to the team title in Gwanju, are back in Taipei. In 2015, Nonomura finished second all-around to Vernyayev. The Russians are sending a young and interesting squad that includes hopefuls Vladislav Polyashov and Kirill Prokopyev.

The U.S. is sending a full men's team in Levi Anderson, Alexander Diab, Tristan Duran, Vitali Kan (son of 1996 Belarusian Olympian Andrei Kan) and Robert Neff, but is unfortunately sending no women.

China is also unfortunately not sending any artistic gymnasts but will have a full rhythmic contingent.


Pan American Games champion Ellie Black (Canada)

Defending women's all-around champion Kelly Simm, a member of Great Britain's bronze medal squad at the 2015 Worlds, is back as the sole representative for Great Britain in artistic. Two-time Olympians Ellie Black and Brittany Rogers, who are gearing up for the upcoming world championships in Montreal, lead the Canadian squad, which includes Briannah Tsang (Penn State) and veteran Jessica Dowling. Black, fifth all-around at last year's Olympic Games, should be a strong contender for the all-around title.

The Russian women, the defending champions, have sent a strong team. Four-time Olympic medalist Maria Paseka, the reigning world champion on vault, is the only returning team member from 2015. Other team members include Olympian Daria Spiridonova. the co-world champion on uneven bars; along with 2016 Olympic alternate Lilia Akhaimova, Yevgenia Shelgunova and veteran Daria Yelizarova. In 2015, Paseka won the gold on vault, while Yelizarova won the silver on floor and bronze on vault.

The Japanese women, second to Russian in 2015, also sent a strong team. Returning gymnasts Asuka Teramoto and Natsumi Sasada, second and third in the all-around, respectively, behind Simm, are back again this year.

Romanian star Larisa Iordache, 21, should also make an impact. The fan favorite was selected to carry the Romanian flag at the University Games opening ceremonies on Saturday night. "I am glad to have the opportunity to be the flag-bearer at the Romania delegation of the Universiade!," Iordache said. "It's the first experience for me and I hope from the bottom of my heart there will be a wonderful experience for the entire Romanian delegation throughout the course of the Universiade."

Competition kicks off Saturday morning at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, with the first of two days of men's team competition qualification and individual qualification. (The first day of competition has two early sessions, to allow the athletes to attend the opening ceremonies that evening.) The women's team and individual qualification will be held Sunday, followed by the all-around finals on Monday, and two days of apparatus finals. The rhythmic competition will be held August 27-29 and features individuals and groups.

External Link: Official Website

29th University Games
Aug. 19-29, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan

Women's Competitors
Tatiana Avila
Jasmin Mader
Dorien Motten
Ellie Black
Jessica Dowling
Denelle Pedrick
Brittany Rogers
Briannah Tsang
Ema Kajić
Yamilet Peña
Maija Leinonen
Annika Urvikko
Veronika Vuosjoki
Kelly Simm
Antonia Alicke
Kim Bui
Leah Griesser
Pauline Tratz
Saul Kwan
Dália Al-Salty
Dorina Böczögő
Yumika Nakamura
Natsumi Sasada
Asuka Teramoto
Ayana Tone
Yuki Uchiyama
Yekaterina Chuikina
Anna Geidt
Eum Dayeon
Jeong Heeyeon
Jung Choongmin
Kim Chaeyeon
Lee Hyebeen
Valērija Grišāne
Elisabeth Geurts
Anne Klein
Laura Tan
Nadieh van Pol
Vera van Pol
Sofie Bråten
Mira Neurauter
Thea Nygård
Sofie Skåttun
Anna Worpvik
Gabriela Janik
Diana Abrantes
Ana Filipa Martins
Inés Romero
Larisa Iordache
Claudia Cummins
Tylah Lotter
Angela Maguire
Bianca Mann
Lilia Akhaimova
Maria Paseka
Yevgenia Shelgunova
Daria Spiridonova
Daria Yelizarova
Ana Cikač
Ivana Kamnikar
Sara King
Adela Šajn
Caterina Barloggio
Barbora Mokošová
Chuang Hsiu-Ju
Chuang Shu-Yun
Lo Yu-Ju
Mai Liu Hsiang-Han
Tsai Chia-Jung
Demet Mutlu
Men's Competitors
Artur Davtyan
Armen Petrosyan
Artur Tovmasyan
Clay Isaac Stephens
Michael Mercieca
Mitchell Morgans
Christopher Remkes
Michael Tone
Alexander Benda
Xheni Dyrmishi
Vinzenz Höck
Matthias Schwab
Maxime Gentges
René Cournoyer
Joel Gagnon
Justin Karstadt
Aaron Mah
Samuel Zakutney
Matija Baron
Renato Prpić
Jakov Vlahek
Kristijan Vugrinski
Ilias Georgiou
Marios Georgiou
David Jessen
Bogi Berg
Jacob Buus
Joao Fuglsig
Joachim Winther
Audrys Nin Reyes
Franz Card
Elias Koski
Jimi Paeivaenen
Heikki Saarenketo
Tomi Tuuha
Kévin Antoniotti
Axel Augis
Edgar Boulet
Zachari Hrimèche
Baptiste Miette
Florian Lindner
Jim Man Hin
Ng Kiu Chung
Shek Wai Hung
Ádám Babos
Botond Kardos
David Schweigert
Dávid Vecsernyés
Kenta Chiba
Tomomasa Hasegawa
Yuya Kamoto
Shogo Nonomura
Wataru Tanigawa
Yerbol Jantykov
Milad Karimi
Vyacheslav Kim
Nurtas Kozhakov
Daulet Narmetov
Im Changdo
Jo Yeonggwang
Kim Hansol
Lee Junghyo
Yun Jinseong
Sergejs Pozņakovs
Tomas Kuzmickas
Robert Tvorogal
Fabian De Luna
Francisco Rojo
Pietro Giachino
Odin Kalvø
Nikolai Rønbeck
Henrik Stiansen
Vetle Talsnes
Scott Butler
Luke Dobney
Devy Dyson
Kyleab Ellis
Callum Phillips
Sebastian Cecot
Piotr Kiełbik
Bernardo Almeida
Pedro Guimarães
Diogo Romero
Rober Ghiuzan
Adelin Kotrong
Toma Zseder
Andrei-Vasile Muntean
Robert Pasca
Daniil Kazachkov
Ilya Kibartas
Vladislav Polyashov
Kirill Prokopyev
Alexei Rostov
Luka Bojanc
Luka Terbovšek
Pascal Bucher
Nicola Graber
Michael Meier
Jonas Munsch
Marco Walter
Slavomír Michnak
Chen Jin-Ling
Hsu Ping-Chien
Lee Chih-Kai
Tang Chia-Hung
Yu Chao-Wei
Mustafa Arca
Ferhat Arıcan
İbrahim Çolak
Ahmet Önder
Hamza Yılmaz
Vladyslav Hryko
Petro Pakhnyuk
Igor Radivilov
Oleg Vernyayev
Yevgen Yudenkov
Levi Anderson
Alexander Diab
Tristan Duran
Vitali Kan
Robert Neff
Rasuljon Abdurakhimov
Khusniddin Abdusamatov
Abdulla Azimov
Akobir Khamrokulov
Aliyor Rustamov
Nguyễn Tuấn Đạt
Phan Ngọc Hùng

Rhythmic (Individual)
Zoe Ormrod
Enid Sung
Hanna Bazhko
Maria Trubach
Carolina Garcia
Nickolle Abreu
Cindy Yu Rim Huh
Kaedyn Lashley
Wu Weiling
Zhang Jing
Andrea Kheilová
Viktoria Bogdanova
Carmel Kallemaa
Inessa Rif
Mimi-Isabella Cesar
Stephani Sherlock
Blanka Boldizsár
Uzume Kawasaki
Takana Tatsuzawa
Anna Afuxenidi
Selina Zhumatayeva
Chun Songe
Rut Castillo
Cindy Gallegos
Fanny Lunde
Margit Oeveraas
Yulia Bravikova
Yekaterina Selezneva
Monija Čebašek
Jana Duchnovská
Xénia Kilianová
Sandra Andersson
Chan Ting-Chen
Song Yu-Han
Kateryna Lutsenko
Yana Yarosh
Brigita Budginas
Serena Lu
Rhythmic (Group)
Fu Pangbo
Liu Siqi
Pan Ruomu
Su Yaoyao
Wang Chenyu
Wen Siyi
Renáta Csomai
Alexandra Fibecz
Laura Ludányi
Janka Szegedi
Eszter Szekeres
Ágnes Vándor
Nanase Hori
Nana Kondo
Natsumi Morino
Yukari Narimatsu
Asuka Ono
Ayano Sato
Ji Jaeeun
Kim Heeryeong
Kim Yeonjung
Nam Jinseul
Shin Juyoung
Ham Sun Ae
Kang Jin A
Mun Kyong Wi
Ri Hye Song
Sin Su Rim
Vera Biryukova
Daria Gorbachyova
Alexandra Korchagina
Yelizaveta Minikhina
Valeria Osikova
Ralina Rakipova
Chen Pei-An
Hsu Tzu-Chi
Ku Ni-Chen
Kung Yun
Wang Hsin-Lin
Yang Chian-Mei
Alina Bykhno
Valeria Gudym
Maryna Makarova
Anastasia Podrushnyak
Daria Sych
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