Giulia Steingruber, who won a historic bronze medal for Switzerland at the Olympic Games this summer, unfortunately had to withdraw from the upcoming Swiss Cup, a local favorite for the gymnast who has been suffering from foot pain and will have surgery in the new year.
The injury will also cause Steingruber to miss next year’s European Championships, and so she will be unable to defend her 2016 vault and floor titles, though she believes she should have enough recovery time to be fully healthy in time for world championships in Montreal.
In her absence, Steingruber’s partner (2016 Olympian Pablo Brägger) will now compete with Ilaria Käslin in the pairs tournament, while Caterina Barloggio will compete as the second Swiss gymnast with Eddy Yusof. The international field is chock full of 2016 Olympians, meanwhile. For the Netherlands, Eythora Thorsdottir will compete alongside Bart Deurloo, Angelina Melnikova and almost-Olympian (he was replaced right before qualifications) Nikita Ignatyev will represent Russia, Angelina Kysla and Oleg Verniaiev will represent Ukraine, and South American stars Jessica Lopez of Venezuela and Arthur Nory of Brazil will pair up to form the sixth team.
The Swiss Cup, which will be held in Zurich on November 6, features several rounds of competition during which the gymnasts on each team are able to select the order of events they wish to perform. All teams compete in the first two rounds, after which the four teams with the highest combined scores move on to the semifinals and then the top three teams after semifinals move to the finals. In the final round, scores are wiped out and gymnasts start from scratch for one last “winner takes all” performance, and they have the option to repeat an apparatus from earlier in the meet.
Steingruber also missed the competition in 2015 after sustaining an injury in the vault finals at worlds. Käslin again took Steingruber’s place with Brägger and the two placed fourth out of ten teams, while the Ukrainian pair of Kysla and Vernaiev won the Cup with a combined score of 29.925 thanks to a killer p-bars routine from Verniaiev that scored a 16.05. Both went on to compete in Rio this summer, and should bring some pretty heavy competition back to Zurich where they hope to defend their glory.
Though she won’t get to compete once again, Steingruber will be providing commentary for the meet. We’ll miss her out on the floor, but are excited to see her return better than ever in 2017.
Edit: Several more teams have been added to the Swiss Cup lineup, including Anne Kuhm and Julien Gobaux for France, Victoria-Kayen Woo and Rene Cournoyer for Canada, and two German teams featuring Kim Bui and Marcel Nguyen on one and Leah Griesser and Lukas Dauser on the other.
Article by Lauren Hopkins