Italy is preparing to celebrate the 2014 gymnastics season with the annual Grand Prix-Yomo Cup, which will be held in Florence on November 22.
Not only are the Italian women’s and men’s national teams expected to delight the audience with performances on their best events, but in addition, several international world stars will
take part in the gala, including former Grand Prix participants 2010 World all-around champion and 2012 Olympic bars champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia as well as 2014 European vault champion Giulia Steingruber. It will be the first gala appearance for Spanish superstar Roxana Popa, who might again perform the upgrades she showed at the Memorial Blume meet last weekend.
Since it’s a celebration of the Italian gymnastics season, there will also be performances from the rhythmic national team along with some rhythmic gymnasts who will perform as individuals, and performances from the athletes who took part in the World T&T Championships in Daytona, Florida earlier this month.
There have been many rumors about the events that the international guests will perform. Mustafina is expected to show vault, beam, and floor, and Popa is likely to perform on bars, beam, and floor. Because of the injury she suffered at the Swiss Cup, Steingruber may only perform on bars. However, the international performances are subject to change.
On the MAG side, the international guests include 2014 World high bar bronze medalist Marijo Moznik from Croatia and the Russian 2014 European team champion Nikolai Kuksenkov. There will also be an international guest from rhythmic gymnasts, with the Ukrainian Ganna Rizadinova expected to attend.
The Grand Prix will also see the official comeback of Enus Mariani. The 2012 European junior all-around champion will show her routines again after nearly two years out of the sport due to back problems that came with a growth spurt. Her comeback will be a major factor for future seasons, as her bar set was the most difficult among the Italian girls and it’s historically the team’s weakest event.
In addition to Mariani, national team members Giorgia Campana, Erika Fasana, Carlotta Ferlito, Vanessa Ferrari, Lavinia Marongiu, Lara Mori, and Martina Rizzelli will attend. Elisa Meneghini was hoping to make her return after withdrawing from World Championships due to a back injury, but unfortunately has not healed well enough to risk performing.
From the men’s team, Nicola Bartolini, Alberto Busnari, Andrea Cingolani, Ludovico Edalli, Matteo Morandi, Paolo Ottavi, and Paolo Principi are expected to perform.
The Grand Prix will be held at the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence on November 22. Tickets are available through Boxol, and the event will be aired live at 4:05 pm local time (10:05 pm EST) on Raisport 2.
Article by Valeria Violi
Photo thanks to Grand Prix di Ginnastica