Double Downies Eyeing Paris for Return


Becky and Ellie Downie

It’s been a hard road for both Downie sisters since last year’s European Championships, with Ellie undergoing several ankle surgeries after her all-around win in Cluj while older sister Becky has fought a handful of injuries that kept her out of worlds last year and then also sidelined her during training at this year’s Euros in Glasgow.

But with Great Britain in a pinch hoping to repeat a team medal at worlds in October, which could mean qualifying a full team to the Olympic Games a year before most teams will have to battle it out, the sisters are pushing to get back in fighting form and are expected to return to competition — the first big international meet since Cluj for both — at the Paris Challenge Cup later this month.

The British teams have put up some solid work despite losing all four returning 2016 Olympians to injury over the last year, and though they missed out on a medal at Euros, the ladies who stepped in did strong work to get them to fourth place. Still, without several of the veterans back with big D scores to fill out the lineups, the team wouldn’t really have a shot at a worlds medal this year, and if the Downies are in good enough shape, they could help get them a bit closer. In recent training videos, Becky has looked phenomenal on bars, and I’m excited to see where Ellie is in her recovery, as she could provide a major help for the team on beam and floor, which has held them back this year.

With the competition held in Paris, get ready to see some rowdy French fans welcome their incredible silver medal-winning Euros team home, with the entire squad — minus Lorette Charpy, who recently broke several bones in her face while training — set to compete here.

Coline Devillard, the 2017 European vault champion who finished sixth in the final this year, will compete her signature event, 2018 European floor champion Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos will compete bars and floor, Juliette Bossu will compete on bars, Marine Boyer will compete on beam and floor, and 2016 Olympian Louise Vanhille, who served as the alternate in Glasgow this year, will compete all but vault. This talented group could take home at least one medal on every event, with a frontrunner for gold on each one, so it’ll be exciting to see how they look just weeks away from worlds, where they — like Great Britain — will be eyeing a medal finish and an early qualification to Tokyo.

The other big names competing on the women’s side include Ellie Black and Brooklyn Moors for Canada, European vault champion Boglarka Devai for Hungary, European bars silver medalist Jonna Adlerteg for Sweden, Diana Varinska of Ukraine, and Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, who will hope to win her one billionth world cup vault title on this stage, though she’ll see big competition from both Devillard and Devai.

The men’s program will also be headlined by the French team, which surprised to win the bronze at Euros in August. All five members of the team — Loris Frasca, Julien Gobaux, Cyril Tommasone, Axel Augis, and Edgar Boulet — will compete here alongside Samir Aït Said, and like the women, they’re favorites for medals in several of the events.

2017 world high bar champion Tin Srbic of Croatia will be back in his first meet after missing Euros due to a last-minute injury, and he’ll be hoping to take the title here as well, but will have some strong competition from 2018 European bronze medalist David Vecsernyes as well as from Japanese phenom Hidetaka Miyachi, among others, including 2012 Olympian Sam Oldham, who has won three European silver medals on the event.

On floor, the competition should be tough with Rayderley Zapata of Spain, Jorge Vega of Guatemala, Marian Dragulescu of Romania, and Israeli gymnasts Alexander Shatilov and Artem Dolgopyat in the mix; Kohei Kameyama of Japan could lead the field on pommels, but Tommasone probably won’t want that to happen at home (and he’ll also want revenge for missing out on the final at Euros last month) and we’ll also see Saso Bertoncelj of Slovenia hoping to medal after getting the silver in Glasgow; and Ibrahim Colak of Turkey, Denis Abliazin of Russia, and Igor Radivilov of Ukraine should be the ones to watch on rings here but also expect great work from Dennis Goossens of Belgium and Ali Zahran of Egypt.

Vega, Dragulescu, and Radivilov will be several top contenders on vault with Japan’s Hidenobu Yonekura and Israel’s Andrey Medvedev also stars on this event; and I’m hoping for a Ferhat Arican win on p-bars, especially with so many of the world’s top competitors on this event not competing here, but I’m also looking forward to Marios Georgiou of Cyprus and Andrei Muntean of Romania.

Additionally, Nestor Abad of Spain will compete here on pommels, p-bars, and high bar, and he should hopefully make an impression on all three.

The competition will begin in Paris on September 27, with two days of apparatus qualifications followed by two days of finals. A full list of competitors is below.

Vinzenz Höck
Daniel Kopeinik
Severin Kranzlmüller
Matthias Schwab
Bianca Frysak
Elisa Hämmerle
Jasmin Mader
Dariy Morozov
Nikita Simonov
Ivan TIkhonov
Yuliya Inshina
Marina Nekrasova
Sviataslau Dranitski
Vasili Mikhalitsyn
Yahor Sharamkou
Dennis Goossens
Chris Kaji
Thierry Pellerin
Ellie Black
Brooklyn Moors
Fang Ko-Ching
Lai Pin-Ju
Matija Baron
Anton Kovacevic
Tin Srbic
Kristijan Vugrinski
Ana Derek
Ema Kajic
Dora Kranzelic
Ilias Georgiou
Marius Georgiou
Frantisek Cerny
Daniel Radovesnicky
Kristyna Brabcova
Aneta Holasova
Jacob Buus
Joao Fuglsig
Christian Riisberg
Mohamed Ashour
Ahmed El Maraghy
Mohamed Moubarak
Ali Zahran
Farah Hussein
Mandy Mohamed
Farah Salem
Nancy Taman
Franz Card
Robert Kirmes
Jimi Päivänen
Heikki Saarenketo
Emil Soravuo
Helmi Murto
Siiri Saukkonen
Samir Aït Said
Axel Augis
Edgar Boulet
Loris Frasca
Julien Gobaux
Cyril Tommasone
Juliette Bossu
Marine Boyer
Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos
Coline Devillard
Louise Vanhille
Joshua Nathan
Sam Oldham
Becky Downie
Ellie Downie
Luis Godinez
Jorge Vega
Adam Babos
Botond Kardos
David Vecsernyes
Boglarka Devai
Nora Feher
Sara Peter
Ran Arnon
Artem Dolgopyat
Andrey Medvedev
Alexander Myakinin
Alexander Shatilov
Michael Sorokine
Meitar Lavy
Ofir Netzer
Kohei Kameyama
Yuya Kamoto
Hidetaka Miyachi
Kazuya Takahashi
Seiya Taura
Hidenobu Yonekura
Rokas Guscinas
Tomas Kuzmickas
Robert Tvorogal
Fabian de Luna
Orlando Esparza
Isaac Nunez
Patricio Razo
Francisco Rojo
Kevin Crovetto
Hamza Hossaini
Rachid Moussa
Sofus Heggemsnes
Odin Kalvø
Stian Skjerahaug
Harald Wibye
Julie Erichsen
Edel Fosse
Bernardo Almeida Beatriz Dias
Mariana Pitrez
Leonor Silva
Cristian Bataga
Vlad Cotuna
Marian Dragulescu
Andrei Groza
Andrei Muntean
Denis Abliazin
Barbora Mokosova
Saso Bertoncelj Tjasa Kysselef
Nestor Abad
Thierno Diallo
Alberto Tallon
Rayderley Zapata
Laura Bechdeju
Helena Bonilla
Ana Perez
Karl Idesjö
David Rumbutis
Kim Vanström
Jonna Adlerteg
Jessica Castles
Ferhat Arican
Ibrahim Colak
Yunus Gundogdu
Ahmet Onder
Umit Samiloglu
Demet Mutlu
Tutya Yilmaz
Vladyslav Hryko
Oleksandr Petrenko
Igor Radivilov
Andrii Sienichkin
Angelina Radivilova
Diana Varinska
Oksana Chusovitina

7 thoughts on “Double Downies Eyeing Paris for Return

  1. Pingback: Double Downies Eyeing Paris for Return | species specific

  2. Hoping it goes well for the return of the Downies. I saw an interview with Becky where she was talking about having to reconstruct her UB routine after her accident as it left her with some permanent damage and she can’t do reverse grip anymore.


  3. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: Keep spendin’ most our lives livin’ in a gangsta’s paradise | The Gymternet

  4. Pingback: Becky Downie's 6.6 Bars | species specific

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