The first FIG World Challenge Cup of the post-Olympic season will take place in Szombathely, Hungary from October 7 through October 9, and while it’s not going to be the busiest of competitions, several Olympians and other known world cup circuit competitors are expected to compete, as per the nominative roster.
One of these is Giulia Steingruber, who earned Switzerland’s first Olympic medal in history when her performance on vault in Rio got her the bronze. Rather than unveiling the handspring double full she’d been training, Steingruber stuck to her more consistent Rudi alongside her DTY, a smart choice that paid off as she was able to hit cleanly and confidently as other vault medal contenders fell.
Steingruber is planning to compete on vault and floor in Szombathely, and I hope this is where she’ll try out the new vault, though I’d imagine if anything she’s taken it easy on herself since winning her medal rather than continue to up the ante. Still, if she hopes to compete it at major competitions like Euros or worlds in the future, she’ll need to get some practice in, and world cups are generally where many new skills are kick-started before hitting the big stage.
Edit- Though she is on the nominative roster submitted by her federation, it looks as though Steingruber might not actually compete, as she is hoping to focus on the Swiss Cup instead. Such is life with these early submissions!
Other women who competed in Rio include Teja Belak of Slovenia, who qualified 19th on vault, and Zsofia Kovacs of the host country Hungary, who placed 33rd during all-around qualifications, coming within less than a point of making the final after uncharacteristic mistakes on beam and floor.
Only a first-year senior, Kovacs is expected to continue into the next quad as a leader. She’ll be joined by a solid contingent here, alongside Boglarka Devai, Luca Diveky, and two-time Olympian Dorina Böczögo. Neighboring Slovenia will also have a great group, with world cup regulars Tjasa Kysselef, Ivana Kamnikar, and 2008 Olympian Adela Sajn joining Belak in the medal hunt.
The other big names here among the women will be 2012 Olympian and 2016 Olympic alternate Emily Little of Australia, Steingruber’s teammates and fan favorites Ilaria Käslin and Caterina Barloggio, Ukraine’s Yana Fedorova and Yana Horokhova, and a great little Chinese group, including Anadia bars silver medalist Xie Yufen, new seniors Liu Jinru and Lyu Jiaqi, and 2014 world beam silver medalist Bai Yawen.
On the men’s side, Hungarian hero and 2012 Olympic pommel horse champion Krisztian Berki, who missed this year’s Olympic Games when he failed to reach event finals on his sole event in Glasgow, should be a huge crowd-pleaser as well as a medal favorite.
From the Rio Olympic pool, Robert Tvorogal of Lithuania and Pham Phuoc Hung are both expected to attend.
A full list of MAG and WAG participants is below. We’ll have more information about the competition coming soon.
|Ahmed Ashraf El Maraghy
|Nada Ayman Ibrahim|
|Jorge Vega Lopez|
|Jim Man Hin|
Dinh Phuong Thanh
Do Vu Hung
Le Thanh Tung
Nguyen Tuan Dat
Pham Phuoc Hung
|Bui Nguyen Hai Yen|
Article by Lauren Hopkins