British Gymnastics announced the gymnasts set to compete at this year’s World Cup event in Glasgow, which is the second of three in the FIG World Cup series for 2016.
The competition in Glasgow features a stellar cast of international gymnasts with world championships experience, and includes Maegan Chant of Canada, 2015 world team bronze medalist Claudia Fragapane of Great Britain, Maria Kharenkova of Russia, Enus Mariani of Italy, Kelly Simm of Great Britain, three-time world medalist Mykayla Skinner of the United States, Asuka Teramoto of Japan, Lieke Wevers of the Netherlands, and Xie Yufen of China.
All of the countries represented in Glasgow have qualified full teams to the Olympic Games this summer, and the majority of these gymnasts are those who still have something to prove to their national programs. With the exception of perhaps Wevers and Teramoto, none of these gymnasts are locks for their countries, and that includes Fragapane, who will face tremendous depth in the British team this summer.
Several of these gymnasts – including Chant, Skinner, Mariani, and Xie – were either alternates or left off of their nations’ 2015 worlds teams entirely, and while Simm competed for Great Britain during prelims, the British women’s team elected to not use her in any event during team finals. Kharenkova, meanwhile, was a key member of the Russian team but due to injury, only competed three events in qualifications despite being the 2015 European silver all-around medalist, and was relegated to just beam in finals.
In Glasgow, all of these gymnasts will hope to show their national team coaches that they have something to offer to their Olympic teams in 2016, and in the process, a pretty excellent battle with no clear-cut podium picture should make this a very exciting meet to help kick off the beginning of the elite season.
As a side note, though British Gymnastics announced Skinner’s participation, she could just be the placeholder nominative gymnast for the U.S. team. USA Gymnastics has not confirmed her selection, which will likely be finalized at the women’s national team camp in February (along with several other international assignment spots up for grabs in March, including the Stuttgart World Cup) depending on her readiness. U.S. women’s national team coordinator Martha Karolyi generally sticks with her nominative decisions, but no decision is ever final without her word.
The Glasgow World Cup will be held at the Emirates Arena on March 12. For more information, visit British Gymnastics.
Edit- As of February 1, Chant has withdrawn from the competition due to injury. She will be replaced by teammate Madison Copiak.
Article by Lauren Hopkins