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Written by Admin    Sunday, 23 February 2020 08:31    PDF Print
U.S. National Team Announced Following Day Two at Winter Cup
(2 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)

The U.S. National team was announced following the conclusion of the 2020 Winter Cup Challenge held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The top six gymnasts from the all-around competition on day one were automatically added to the team, which included: Sam Mikulak (USOPTC) 86.8, Shane Wiskus (Minnesota) 84.55, Brody Malone (Stanford) 83.95, Grant Breckenridge (Stanford) 83.9, Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma) 82.35 and Allan Bower (Oklahoma) 82.35.

After the second day of the competition, which determined the individual event medalists, USA Gymnastics announced the additional six members to the national team: Trevor Howard (Ohio State), Paul Juda (Michigan), Akash Modi (Stanford), Stephen Nedoroscik (Penn State), Colin Van Wicklen (Oklahoma) and Donnell Whittenburg (USOPTC). Trevor Howard and Donnell Whittenburg did not compete in Las Vegas, while Stephen Nedoroscik was at the Melbourne World Cup competition winning pommel horse.

The individual event winners at the event were:

FX – Gage Dyer (Oklahoma) 29.05

PH – Alex Yoder (Ohio State) 30.0

SR – Alex Diab (Illinois) 29.45

VT – Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma) 28.8

PB – Sam Mikulak (USOPTC) 29.45

HB – Colin Van Wicklen (Oklahoma) 27.6

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 06 October 2019 15:15    PDF Print
Worlds Preview - MAG Qualification Subdivisions 5 - 8
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

October 7, 2019 – Monday

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 5: (10:00/4am ET)

Floor Exercise: Unites States

Pommel Horse: Japan

Still Rings: Canada

Vault: MxG 14 (Lithuania, Peru)

Parallel Bars: MxG 8 (Jamaica, Costa Rica, Iran)

High Bar: MxG 23 (Mexico, Slovenia)

The fifth subdivision features the teams from Japan and the United States. The Japanese team will be competing without six-time all-aruond champion Kohei Uchimura, who hasn’t missed a world championships since his debut in 2009 when he won his first title. Regardless, the team brings high start value routines on every event and should be one of the contenders in the team competition. The Tanigawa brothers along with Kazuma Kaya should be the gymnasts who would provide most of the routines for the team. United States will be led by six-time U.S. national champion Sam Mikulak, who has potential for an all-around medal as well as individual event finals on floor, p-bars and high bar. Canada was 18th in Doha and will need to have a stellar performance, plus help from some of the other teams to be able to challenge for a top 12 finish. Rene Cournoyer should be the team’s best chance for an all-around final. Notable individuals include Daniel Corral from Mexico who will be aiming for a good all-around performance and qualification spot to Tokyo. In this session Iran’s Saeedreza Keikha, Jamaica’s Michael Reed and Slovenia’s Saso Bertoncelj would be hoping to squeeze in the pommel horse final.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 6: (13:00/7am ET)

Floor Exercise: China

Pommel Horse: Belgium

Still Rings: MxG 5 (Latvia, Cyprus)

Vault: Finland

Parallel Bars: MxG 17 (Hong Kong, Island)

High Bar: Australia

China is the defending champion and is competing with exactly the same team here in Stuttgart. The team’s only weakness is perhaps floor, but of course they could make up for it with their outrageous p-bar score led by Zou Jingyuan’s routine, which could end up in the 16s. Xiao Ruoteng is the 2017 all-around champion and lost the title last year on a tiebreaker, and he is one of the top picks for the title again. The team is capable of multiple finals on multiple events particularly pommel horse, p-bars and high bar. Belgium, Finland and Australia placed 19th, 23rd and 25th in Doha, respectively, and at this point they do not look ready to challenge for a top 12 finish; these three countries will be aiming for all-around Olympic qualification spots. Notable individuals in this session include Marios Georgiou from Cyprus who is respectable all-arounder and should easily qualify to the final, and Shek Wai Hung from Hong Kong who has potential for the vault final.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 7: (16:30/10:30am ET)

Floor Exercise: Ukraine

Pommel Horse: Korea

Still Rings: MxG 22 (Croatia, Morocco, New Zealand)

Vault: Great Britain

Parallel Bars: MxG 18 (Venezuela, Thailand, Tunisia)

High Bar: MxG 11 (Sweden, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago)

This is one of the most appealing subdivisions because it features three countries that can qualify full teams to Tokyo, as well as notable individuals with realistic possibilities for the event finals. Great Britain and Ukraine are both too strong not to qualify to the team final. Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev could be once again an all-around contender if he manages his consistency, and his p-bars routine is still medal worthy. Igor Radivilov will be hoping to make rings and vault finals, while teammate Petro Pakhniuk could manage the p-bars final. Great Britain’s best medal opportunity will be once again world and Olympic champion Max Whitlock on pommel horse who will be looking to regain the title there. The team’s strongest event is floor where they have Dominick Cunningham and Giarnni Regini-Moran capable of making the final. Cunningham was also 4th on vault last year and could repeat as a finalist on that event.

Korea was 13th last year with a poor performance on vault. This year, however, they will have their world and Olympic vault champion Yang Hak-seon back on the team, and with a better performance by Kim Hansol Korea could be one of the highest scoring teams on that event. Kim will be aiming for both the floor and vault final, while Yang will be trying to dethrone Ri Se-gwang and regain the vault title. This subdivision also features a few mixed groups with numerous notable individuals capable of event finals. Croatia will be hoping for world high bar champion Tin Srbic to safely qualify to the final there, while Filip Ude and Robert Seligman will be hoping for pommel horse top 8 scores. It is conceivable that Dominican Republic’s Audrys Nin Reyes makes the vault final, while Carlos Yulo from the Philippines has top 10 potential in the all-around. Yulo won the bronze medal on floor last year in Doha and will be looking to safely qualify to that event once again.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 8: (19:30/1:30pm ET)

Floor Exercise: Netherlands

Pommel Horse: MxG 16 (Uruguay, North Korea, Portugal)

Still Rings: MxG 3 (India, Armenia)

Vault: Romania

Parallel Bars: MxG 15 (Uzbekistan, Georgia)

High Bar: Switzerland

The last and final subdivision of this world championships features the teams of Netherlands, Switzerland and Romania. The Dutch team was 7th and the Swiss were 8th last year in Doha. For the Dutch nothing is guaranteed and anything but a perfect day could jeopardize their qualification to Tokyo. Switzerland on the other hand has too many strong gymnasts on their team not to make it to Tokyo; in fact, they are one of the teams that should be able to return to the team final. Romania was 21st in Doha, and it is not realistic to expect a top 12 finish from them. Epke Zonderland is the defending high bar champion, and there will be pressure on him to hit during qualification as simply making the final could guarantee him a ticket to the Olympics, if his team does not qualify. Romanian legend, Marian Dragulescu is still going at 38, and actually still has a shot at a vault final, and possible Olympic qualification. On the Swiss team best hopes for individual event finals should be Pablo Braegger and Oliver Hegi both on high bar. This session also includes a trio from Armenia, with each one of them having a realistic possibility for a final. Artur Davtyan (VT and AA), Artur Tovmasyan (SR) and Harutyun Merdinyan (PH). Defending vault champion from North Korea’s Ri Se-gwang is also in this session and will have the same pressure to make the final as Zonderland for the very same reason.

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Saturday, 05 October 2019 17:46    PDF Print
Worlds Preview - MAG Qualification Subdivisions 1 - 4
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

October 6, 2019 – Sunday

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 1: (10:00/4am ET)

Floor Exercise: Italy

Pommel Horse: Chinese Taipei

Still Rings: Kazakhstan

Vault: MxG 21 (Algeria, Israel, Monaco)

Parallel Bars: MxG 19 (Ireland, Poland)

High Bar: MxG 2 (Austria, Kuwait, Mongolia)

Italy was 14th in Doha and being in the very first subdivision might hurt their chances of ending in top 12, but their team total could be a good benchmark for the rest of the competition. Bronze medalist on rings last year, Marco Lodadio, should be a lock for the final on that event. He is one of the legitimate medal contenders here. Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chih-kai stands on first place in the World Cup pommel horse rankings, but has a tricky draw here in Stuttgart, starting the competition on his best event. His teammate Tang Chia Hung was a finalist on high bar last year, and he should be someone to watch there. Israel has potential for a few finals with the best chance being Artem Dolgopyat on floor. Dolgopyat was silver medalist in 2017 and he is one of the floor guys who can keep up with the Russians on that event. His teammate Alexander Shatilov has an outside chance on the event. Andrey Medvedev could make vault final of course depending on landings. Kazakhstan’s Milad Karimi will be hoping to advance to the floor final, where he was a finalist in 2017. Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan is one of the favorites for a medal on pommel horse and will be hoping for a solid performance in this qualification round.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 2: (13:00/7am ET)

Floor Exercise: Norway

Pommel Horse: MxG 9 (Azerbaijan, Serbia, Slovakia)

Still Rings: MxG 7 (Denmark, Vietnam)

Vault: Hungary

Parallel Bars: MxG 12 (Angola, Ecuador, Syria)

High Bar: France

France was 12th in Doha and 3rd at last year’s European Championships. Of course anything can happen, but not qualifying to Tokyo would be a disappointment for this team. Individual event final hopefuls include Cyril Tommasone pommel horse, Samir Ait Said rings and Loris Frasca vault. Hungary’s pommel horse world and Olympic champion Krisztian Berki was scheduled to make a return to competition here; unfortunately he was forced to withdraw with another shoulder injury. This session also features a full team from Norway and mixed groups from Azerbaijan, Serbia, Slovakia, Denmark, Vietnam, Angola, Ecuador and Syria.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 3: (16:30/10:30am ET)

Floor Exercise: Russia

Pommel Horse: Belarus

Still Rings: MxG 6 (Colombia, Guatemala, Chile)

Vault: Turkey

Parallel Bars: MxG 4 (Nigeria, Greece)

High Bar: MxG 20 (Czech Republic, Cuba, Albania)

Losing to China by less than a tenth a year ago, the Russian team should be set for revenge. Led by defending all-around champion Artur Dalaloyan, Russia is one of the favorites for the team title. Nikita Nagornyy, who was third in the all-around in Doha, has shown the best all-around form throughout the year. Both Nagornyy and Dalaloyan could easily qualify to multiple event finals. David Belyavskiy won’t be pursuing the all-around, but should be a contender on PH, PB and HB. Denis Abliazin is not quite 100% back on the leg events, but he is on the team for his ring routine, which should easily place him in the final of that event. Turkey was 15th last year in Doha with a meltdown performance on pommel horse. Led by two solid all-arounders, Ahmet Onder and Ferhat Arican, the team could make history by advancing to their first ever Olympic games, given they manage to solve the pommel horse dilemma. Onder was a floor finalist in Doha, while Arican and Ibrahim Colak made the p-bar and rings finals two years ago in Montreal. The stylish Belarusian team has been receiving the help of Leonid Arkaev since the European Games in Minsk three months ago. The team will be looking to improve on a 24th place finish in Doha last year.

Notable individuals:

Defending world and Olympic rings champion Eleftherios Petrounias is schedule to return to competition for the first time in a year following a shoulder surgery after Doha. He opted out of the podium training to rest his shoulder, but claims to be 95% ready for the qualification round. Jorge Vega from Guatemala could be a factor for the vault final, while Tomas Gonzalez from Chile usually manages to sneak into the floor top 8. 2015 all-around silver medalist Manrique Larduet seems healthy but has lost difficulty on some of the events. The Cuban should easily obtain an Olympic berth through the all-around allotments and could manage to qualify to the p-bar and/or the high bar final. Colombia’s best all-arounder Jossimar Calvo Moreno will be absent from the competition due to injury.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 4: (19:30/1:30pm ET)

Floor Exercise: MxG 1 (Egypt, Bulgaria)

Pommel Horse: MxG 13 (Qatar, Jordan, El Salvador)

Still Rings: MxG 10 (Puerto Rico, Argentina, Indonesia)

Vault: Spain

Parallel Bars: Germany

High Bar: Brazil

In the last subdivision of day one we have three teams with legitimate contention for a top 12 finish. Brazil finished 6th last year in Doha, while Germany was 10th and Spain 11th. Once again Brazil should be the strongest of the three and is expected to return to the team final, while for Germany and Spain, it will depend on who delivers better on the day. Anything but a strong performance should put these two teams in jeopardy of not qualifying to Tokyo. Brazil’s Artur Zanetti was the rings silver medalist in Doha and would be the team’s best chance for a medal. Ray Zapata showed incredible readiness on floor during podium training, but he is the alternate on the team, because Spain’s team total score is a much higher priority.

Ali Zahran from Egypt won the rings title at the World Challenge Cup last month in Paris and has potential for the final here. The session also features the mixed groups of Egypt, Bulgaria, Qatar, Jordan, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Indonesia.

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Friday, 04 October 2019 14:52    PDF Print
Worlds Preview - WAG Qualification Subdivisions 11 & 12
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

October 5, 2019 – Saturday

Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 11: (18:00/12pm ET)

VT – MxG 22 (Turkey, Denmark)

UB – Hungary

BB – Switzerland

FX – MxG 1 (Hong Kong, Cyprus)

The Hungarian team was 17th in Doha while Switzerland 21st. It will be difficult for either team to squeeze into top 12. Giulia Steingruber, who is back after a knee injury last year, will be of huge help to the team which could mean that Switzerland could surpass Hungary in the team standings. Steingruber, Olympic bronze medalist on vault from Rio could be back in that final. The session also features the mixed groups of Turkey, Denmark, Hong Kong and Cyprus. Turkey’s Tutya Yilmaz, first reserve on beam at the Rio Olympics, would be the country’s best hope for a final.

Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 12: (20:00/2pm ET)

VT – Brazil

UB – MxG 19 (New Zealand, Singapore)

BB – MxG 3 (Finland, Angola)

FX – United States

The last subdivision is the most appealing one because of Simone Biles and team USA.  Biles won maximum of six medal last year in Doha and could duplicated this feat here in Stuttgart. She is set to debut her double twisting double tuck off the beam and triple twisting double tuck on floor. It will be interesting to see if she competes them in the qualification round or if she chooses to compete one or both in the team or all-around competitions. The U.S. will be aiming to make two finals on every event and it won’t be impossible for the team to win two medals in the all-around and every individual event. Of course both Biles and the U.S. team are expected to defend their titles by large margings. Brazil will be led by Flavia Saraiva, who should be a factor in the all-around competition. The team is expected to easily make top 8. In addition, Brazil will be aiming to get Saraiva in the beam and floor finals. The subdivision also features the mixed groups of New Zealand, Singapore, Finland and Angola. New Zealand’s Courtney McGregor, Olympian from Rio 2016, has a strong chance to qualify to the all-around final; hence, booking a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Friday, 04 October 2019 14:30    PDF Print
Worlds Preview - WAG Qualification Subdivisions 9 & 10
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

October 5, 2019 – Saturday

Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 9: (13:30/7:30am ET)

VT – MxG 9 (Costa Rica, Peru)

UB – Mexico

BB – MxG 7 (Latvia, Lithuania, Armenia)

FX – Japan

Japan’s Mai Murakami is absent from the team, regardless; the team should not be in jeopardy of placing outside the top 8. Asuka Teramoto would be Japan’s best all-around gymnast here in Stuttgart, but without Murakami it would be difficult for the team to advance anybody to the individual event finals. Mexico will be welcoming back 2012 Olympian Elsa Garcia. In addition, last year’s vault medalist Alexa Moreno is on the squad, which should be their best chance for an event final and possibly another medal. The team will be looking to improve on a 19th place finish in Doha.

Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 10: (15:30/9:30am ET)

VT – MxG 14 (Panama, El Salvador)

UB – Argentina

BB – Russia

FX – MxG 18 (Bolivia, Israel)

In this session all the attention will be on the Russian team. Team leader Alia Mustafina will be absent from the competiton and the Russians will have to rely heavily on Angelina Melnikova. Melnikova who is still in search of her first individual world medal is the best hope for the team with potential in the all-around, floor and uneven bars finals. Lilia Akhaimova was in the floor final last year in Doha and has at least top 8 potential on both vault and floor. Late addition to the team Anastasia Agafonova won beam gold and bars silver at the last World Challenge Cup in Paris last month and should be a strong contributor on these two events. It was a last second decision on the last member of the team, and the 2015 world bar champion Daria Spiridonova was the one chosen, which meant that two-time world vault champion Maria Paseka would be the alternate.  The Russians were second at last year's worlds and would be hoping to at least remain on the podium here in Stuttgart.

The session also features the team from Argentina. The most impactful presense on the team should be Martina Dominici, who has strong chances for an Olympic qualifying spot through an all-around placement. The subdivision also includes the mixed groups from Panama, El Salvador, Bolivia and Israel.

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