Challenge Cup Resumes in Mersin

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Göksu Üctas Sanli

The FIG’s Challenge Cup series is back in Mersin this weekend, and the host country is going all out with top gymnasts from both the men’s and women’s programs competing.

For the women, 2012 Olympian Göksu Üctas Sanli will be the highlight, competing every event but bars, while veteran Demet Mutlu will compete bars, and the up-and-comers Doga Özgöczmez and Nazli Savranbasi are also set to compete.

2016 Olympian Ferhat Arican and Ahmet Önder will headline the men’s competition, with both competing pommels and p-bars, while Önder will also add high bar to his program, and we’ll also get specialist standouts Ibrahim Colak on rings and Umit Samiloglu on high bar, while Yunus Gundogdu will compete floor, rings, and vault and Ilkay Uguz will compete on floor and vault.

The competition should be a good preview of the Turkish men’s team, which finished 15th at worlds last year and has a shot to qualify a full team to the Olympic Games for the first time in history after qualifying an individual for the first time just four years ago. Arican, Önder, Colak, and Samiloglu seem most likely to be on the team in Stuttgart this year, so it’ll be great to see what Gundogdu and the young Uguz, who only recently graduated to the senior ranks, can do to round out the team on vault and floor.

Slovenia and Croatia are also bringing strong contingents on both sides, and with the field relatively weak overall, I can see this being a great chance for Tienna Nguyen of Vietnam and Megan Ryan of Ireland to make some finals as they use this experience to prepare for qualifying for the Olympics in just over a month, while Canada is getting Audrey Rousseau back there alongside Emma Milne in her first international assignment.

The competition begins with qualifications on Friday, August 30, and finals will be held throughout the weekend with the first half on Saturday and the second half on Sunday. A full list of competitors is below.

AZERBAIJAN
Murad Agharzayev
Javidan Babayev
BULGARIA
Yordan Aleksandrov
David Huddleston
Martin Mishev
CANADA
Emma Milne
Audrey Rousseau
CROATIA
Matija Baron
Aurel Benovic
Filip Borosa
Renato Prpic
Petra Furac
Ema Kajic
Tijana Tkalcec
Tina Zelcic
CYPRUS
Neofytos Kyriakou
FINLAND
Isabella Ahlblad
Lilian Langenskiöld
INDIA
Abhijit Shinde Neha Dandekar
Aditi Gandhi
Ketki Gokhale
IRELAND
Jane Heffernan
Kate Molloy
Megan Ryan
JORDAN
Ahmad Abu Al Soud
Majdi Al Hmood
Saleem Naghouj
SLOVENIA
Saso Bertoncelj
Rok Klavora
Luka Terbovsek
Teja Belak
Lucija Hribar
Tjasa Kysselef
Adela Sajn
TURKEY
Ferhat Arican
Ibrahim Colak
Yunus Gundogdu
Ahmet Önder
Umit Samiloglu
Ilkay Uguz
Demet Mutlu
Doga Özgöcmez
Nazli Savranbasi
Göksu Üctas Sanli
VIETNAM
Tienna Nguyen
Tran Doan Quynh Nam

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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