Li Qi and Chen Yile celebrating turning 16.
The Chinese federation is wasting no time introducing us to its awesome class of first-year seniors in 2018, sending to the Melbourne World Cup a much-anticipated group that includes 2017 Asian junior all-around and bars champion and 2017 Chinese National Games all-around champion Chen Yile, 2017 Chinese National Games bars silver medalist Du Siyu, and 2017 Asian junior beam and floor champion and 2017 Chinese National Games beam champion Li Qi.
It’s quite the list of accomplishments, especially when you consider that the Chinese National Games included senior competitors, and yet all three of these young ladies managed to outperform their senior teammates, including several 2016 Olympians, in the weeks leading up to worlds. Had they been eligible to compete last year and looked at worlds as they did all season, China’s medal outlook would’ve been much stronger, and so the federation is probably thrilled to add all three to their senior depth pool this year.
Also competing for China is Liu Jinru, an impressive vaulter who won the titles on this event at Chinese Championships and Asian Championships last year. This will be Liu’s third season at the senior level, and she’s excellent on vault, with a Rudi and tsuk double that should give her a pretty big advantage over the rest of the competitors here.
Australia is taking pretty much every top senior to this competition, with some strong medal potential in this field, as China is the only other country expected to challenge them. All of those competing have a lot of potential, but just haven’t exactly been in top shape in some time, though I thought Georgia Godwin had a great worlds and have been looking forward to seeing her get back in action, while Rianna Mizzen should contend on bars and Emma Nedov is always a joy on beam.
The men have a bit more depth, with Japan sending several of last year’s worlds team members, including vaulter Keisuke Asato and king of the high bar Hidetaka Miyachi, and as with the women, Australia’s field is strong as well, even with Clay Mason Stephens still out due to injury.
For some teams here, this meet will serve as an important test leading up to the Commonwealth Games in April, which will be held on the Gold Coast, and the Australians are hoping to dominate the medal hauls which won’t be easy with England coming in hot as always.
The competition begins February 22. A full list of competitors is below.
|Lee Chih Kai|
|Aruna Budda Reddy
|Loo Phay Xing
Tan Fu Jie
|Farah Ann Abdul Hadi
Tan Ing Yueh
Carlos Edriel Yulo
|Aizat Bin Muhammad Jufrie
Hoe Wah Toon
Tay Wei An Terry
Yeo Xong Sean
|Nadine Joy Nathan
Ng Le En
Article by Lauren Hopkins
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