The FIG has released the lineup for the Stuttgart World Cup coming up in March, and it’s an amazing one, especially on the women’s side.
The field will see the return of Romanian world and Olympic medalist Larisa Iordache, who was injured last season and unable to come back quickly enough to challenge for Romania’s sole spot in Rio, serving as alternate instead.
Also expected to compete are 2016 Olympians Isabela Onyshko of Canada, Claudia Fragapane of Great Britain, Angelina Melnikova of Russia, Tabea Alt and Pauline Schäfer of Germany, and Eythora Thorsdottir of the Netherlands, who kicked off her 2017 to a great start with an all-around win at the Reykjavik International Games this weekend.
There are a couple of up-and-comers hoping to get their feet wet here as well. Jordan Chiles, last year’s junior all-around champion at Jesolo, will make her senior debut in Stuttgart while Zhang Jin of China, who turned senior in 2016 and placed 17th in the all-around at the test event in Rio, is hoping to gain more experience that will help her contend for bigger international team spots this quad.
Of course, all of this is subject to change. The US competitor won’t become official until after the next national team camp (held from the 24th through the 28th of this month, the camp will also confirm the second US competitor for the American Cup). Also, Onyshko recently had to miss Elite Canada due to a nagging knee injury, so while she’ll have another six weeks to recover, it’s possible she won’t be at a hundred percent in time for the meet.
On the men’s side, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Oleg Verniaiev of Ukraine is a standout, as are fellow 2016 Olympians Francesco Barretto of Brazil, Sam Mikulak of the United States, and Lukas Dauser of Germany. The roster also includes 2015 worlds team members Kazuma Kaya of Japan, Nikita Ignatyev of Russia, and Philipp Herder of Germany, 2016 American Cup bronze medalist Sun Wei of China, and two-time world challenge cup medalist James Hall of Great Britain.
The competition in Stuttgart will be held from March 18 through March 19, alongside the DTB Pokal Team Challenge, which will feature men’s and women’s teams from around the world competing in both qualifications and finals, to be held from March 17 through March 19. Teams for the challenge have yet to be announced.
Article by Lauren Hopkins