Challenge Cup Participants Set for Baku


With the love for gymnastics growing in Azerbaijan following the Russian invasion putting them on the map and with the sport’s successful showing at the European Games last summer, Baku is now one of the host cities for the popular FIG World Challenge Cup series, which kicks off February 19.

The challenge cups feature both MAG and WAG competitors from around the world competing on individual events only, with qualifications held followed by the top eight on each event qualifying into finals. In Baku, 21 women and 46 men will contend for titles and prize money while getting valuable experience as they continue to prepare for the Olympic Games. Following Baku, additional challenge cups will be held in Qatar and Germany in March, Slovenia and Croatia in April, Bulgaria and Brazil in May, and Portugal in June.

The host country will feature all four of its elite women, including Yuliya Inshina, Marina Nekrasova, Kristina Pravdina, and Mariia Smirnova, all of whom are hoping to get the one individual spot available to them at the Rio Test Event in April. On the men’s side, the super popular Oleg Stepko is bound to be a big draw for fans, especially after taking home a worlds bronze medal in Glasgow last year.

Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade will make her return to the sport on bars at Baku, joined by fellow Olympic hopeful and test event teammate Flavia Saraiva. Six-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina will represent Uzbekistan, joined by other veteran favorites including Dorina Böczögö of Hungary and Tjasa Kysselef of Slovenia.

The young Israeli Tzuf Feldon, known for her impressive work on beam last season, will also attend, as will fellow 2015 worlds competitors Lisa Ecker and Elisa Hämmerle of Austria, Emma Larsson of Sweden, Dilnoza Abdusalimova of Uzbekistan, and Ekin Morova, Demet Mutlu, and the powerful Tutya Yilmaz of Turkey.

Finally, we’ll also be treated to the senior debuts of Florine Harder and Lina Philipp of Germany as well as Lara Omahen and Lana Voler of Slovenia.

A full list of MAG and WAG participants is below. For more information, visit our coverage guide.

Lisa Ecker
Elisa Hämmerle
Petro Pakhnyuk
Oleg Stepko
Yuliya Inshina
Marina Nekrasova
Kristina Pravdina
Mariia Smirnova
Maxime Gentges
Rebeca Andrade
Daniele Hypolito
Flavia Saraiva
Kevin Lytwyn
Scott Morgan
Jackson Payne
Andrej Korosteljev
Tomislav Markovic
Renato Prpic
Robert Seligman
Tin Srbic
Marcel Nguyen Florine Harder
Lina Philipp
Dorina Böczögö
Saeed Reza Keikha
Artem Dolgopyat
Eyal Glazer
Andrey Medvedev
Alexander Shatilov
Moran Yanuka
Tzuf Feldon
Tomomasa Hasegawa
Naoto Hayasaka
Kazuma Kaya
Kenzo Shirai
Vitalijs Kardasovs
Dmitrijs Trefilovs
Marcus Conradi
Pietro Giachino
Odin Martin Dessard Kalvo
Stian Skjerahaug
Luka Kisek
Rok Klavora
Ziga Silc
Tjasa Kysselef
Lara Omahen
Lana Voler
Nestor Abad
Ruben Lopez
Andres Martin
Adria Vera
Emma Larsson
Ferhat Arican
Ibrahim Colak
Ahmet Onder
Umit Samiloglu
Ekin Morova
Demet Mutlu
Tutya Yilmaz
Volodymyr Hrybuk
Vladyslav Hryko
Anton Olivson
Oleksandr Petrenko
Maksym Semiankiv
Illia Yehorov
Yana Horokhova
Eduard Shaulov Dilnoza Abdusalimova
Oksana Chusovitina

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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