The FIG released the nominative roster for next month’s Melbourne World Cup, the first of three remaining apparatus world cup competitions that will determine the series winners and the gymnasts that will qualify as specialists to this year’s Olympic Games.
Jade Carey of the United States, who leads the rankings on vault and floor, will be in attendance to make sure she can stay at the top of the pack on both. With a vault win in Cottbus, she’ll be able to drop her ranking from Cottbus 2018 to reach a perfect 90 on this event, which could secure her a spot in Tokyo, assuming no one else also reaches a 90 and could beat her in the tie-break, which is looking pretty unlikely.
If Carey qualifies on vault, it will open up the floor ranking to the gymnast next in line, which is Italy’s Lara Mori at the moment, with teammate Vanessa Ferrari in a close third. Both will compete in Melbourne, as will Anastasiia Bachynska, currently fifth on the event.
Fan Yilin of China, who reached 90 series points in Cottbus last year, won’t compete here, and the bars gymnasts who are next in line – Anastasia Iliankova of Russia and Georgia-Rose Brown of Australia – won’t be able to match her this time around, though Iliankova could get very close, and on beam, none of the top three gymnasts on the rankings – Emma Nedov of Australia, Li Qi of China, and Mana Oguchi of Japan – will attend this competition, giving Bachynska a great shot to put herself in contention, though she’ll face strong competition from Urara Ashikawa of Japan.
In addition to the series leaders, I’m most excited to see China’s Guan Chenchen and Ou Yushan and Great Britain’s Ondine Achampong make their senior debuts, and Coline Devillard of France will return to competition after an injury last season, though she and some of the other strong vault contenders here – like Maria Paseka of Russia – likely won’t qualify to the Olympics this way with Carey’s lead on this event so strong.
On the men’s side, floor leader Rayderley Zapata could get to 90 points here, so he’ll be hoping for a big routine, China’s Weng Hao and Liu Yang, who lead pommels and rings with 90 points each, are here to make sure no one can dethrone them. Vault leader Hidenobu Yonekura of Japan is expected to compete, as is p-bars leader Vladislav Poliashov of Russia, and high bar leader Hidetaka Miyachi of Japan, who also has 90 points, though Epke Zonderland is back to see if he can sneak into the top spot after missing Cottbus.
The competition marks the return of Christopher Remkes of Australia, who was injured last year, though he won’t be competing on his best events, floor and vault, in Melbourne. Jorge Vega Lopez of Guatemala and Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece will be putting in some last-ditch efforts to attempt to qualify on their best events – vault and rings, respectively – and there are a few others on the roster who are also hoping to sneak up to lead various rankings, though I think for the most part, there’s very little wiggle room for the top spots, especially as the current leaders continue to compete and put even more distance between themselves and those hoping to get an upset.
The Melbourne World Cup will begin with qualifications on February 20 and 21, and will continue with finals over that weekend. A full roster is below.
|Thierry Pellerin||Isabela Onyshko
|Tomas Gonzalez||Makarena Pinto|
|Tseng Wei-Sheng||Fang Ko-Ching
|Audrys Nin Reyes|
|Jorge Vega Lopez|
|Ng Kiu Chung|
|Mahdi Ahmad Kohani
|Ahmad Abu Al Soud|
|Tan Fu Jie|
|Joshua Valle||Elsa Garcia
|Suhail Al Kurdi|
|Dinh Phuong Thanh||Tran Doan Quynh Nam|
Article by Lauren Hopkins