After Elite Canada really helped us find our groove with the 2020 elite season, it’s time to get our international feet wet with the Melbourne World Cup, the sixth of eight apparatus world cup competitions that will help determine ten gymnasts who will earn berths to the 2020 Olympic Games.
This weekend will also feature the Winter Cup Challenge for the men in the United States, the second of four Serie A competitions in Italy, and a fourth women’s national elite qualifier hosted by Everest.
MELBOURNE WORLD CUP
I previewed this meet last night, so check that link for who to watch, and the competition got underway today with Jade Carey leading vault and Anastasia Iliankova leading bars in the women’s fields, while Kirill Prokopev leads floor, Stephen Nedoroscik leads pommels, and Eleftherios Petrounias leads rings for the men.
Emma Nedov could get even closer to the Olympic beam spot here
Qualifications continue with beam, women’s floor, men’s vault, p-bars, and high bar on Friday evening in Australia, with event finals held over Saturday and Sunday. There are no qualification streams, unfortunately, and also no live scores, because why bother actually putting any effort at all into an Olympic qualifying meet?
Results are going up here following each session, however, and the competition will stream on the Olympic Channel during finals. Melbourne is 16 hours ahead of the east coast in the U.S., so Saturday’s event finals will actually be held at 2 am ET, while Sunday’s finals will be held at 11 pm ET on Saturday night. Not at all confusing or upsetting.
WINTER CUP CHALLENGE
All five guys who helped the United States qualify a team to the 2020 Olympic Games at last year’s world championships will compete at this year’s Winter Cup Challenge, which will determine the 12 men who will comprise the U.S. men’s senior national team from this weekend up through to the 2020 U.S. national championships later this summer.
In total, over 100 senior and junior competitors will attend this Las Vegas-based meet. The first day of competition on February 20 features the Elite Team Cup for the junior division, as well as qualifications for the seniors, while the final session on February 22 will feature the top 28 senior athletes based on the 10-point system and the top 14 junior all-arounders. The senior all-around ranking will be determined by the day one results, while apparatus rankings will be determined via a combined two-day score, while the junior all-around and apparatus results will both be determined by a two-day score.
Colin Van Wicklen is one of several bubble gymnasts who will want to prove himself here
So, what’s at stake besides the random mid-year national team? Though the U.S. has already selected Sam Mikulak and Yul Moldauer for its all-around world cup berths, the Winter Cup Challenge will “finalize” these berths, so if either Mikulak or Moldauer shows that they’re not ready, we could see these assignments change (though we probably won’t). Apparatus world cup assignments for Baku and Doha will also be determined here, and though the U.S. isn’t likely to qualify any men to the Olympic Games this way, it’s still invaluable experience for the guys who aren’t traditionally top all-arounders and want to prove that they have the skills needed to provide big apparatus scores to the team this summer.
As a side note, Stephen Nedoroscik is currently at the Melbourne World Cup, so he’ll obviously miss the Winter Cup. He qualified first in pommels, but it’s unclear whether his performance in Melbourne will count toward the national team decisions made here.
The junior competition will take place at 12 pm PT on February 20, while the seniors hit the floor at 6:35 pm PT. On Saturday, February 22, the competition will take place at 7:35 pm PT, which is basically the same time that the second day of Melbourne Cup finals will take place, honestly, somebody help me because this is too much. Good news, though…STREAMS! All three sessions will stream on YouTube, and you can find links for live scores and start lists here.
2nd ITALIAN SERIE A
The second edition of Italy’s league meet, Serie A, takes place this weekend, with Serie A2 held on Saturday, February 22, at 9 am local time, while Serie A1 will happen at 2:30 pm, also local to the venue in Ancona.
Like last time, the Brixia queens are the ones to watch, with Giorgia Villa, Elisa Iorio, Asia D’Amato, and Alice D’Amato each expected to compete a few events apiece (and I think we could see at least one or two of them jumping back into all-around competition after they took it relatively “easy” in the first meet). The team also includes Martina Maggio, as well as a few up-and-coming junior competitors, while outside of Brixia, you should of course watch for Desiree Carofiglio, who showed at the first competition that she’s gunning for one of those four spots this summer.
Desiree Carofiglio had the top all-around score at the first Serie A meet
Ares, Salerno, Spes Mestre, and Virtus Pasqualetti should be the top teams to watch in the men’s field, with most of the top Italian elites as well as some fab international guests competing. While there won’t be a stream, you can follow live results here.
EVEREST NATIONAL QUALIFIER
The fourth U.S. women’s elite qualifier of the season will be held at the Everest Classic in North Carolina, with two compulsory sessions on Friday, February 21, as well as three optional sessions held Saturday, February 22.
There’s no official list of competitors or anything, but the names for the first optional session are pre-loaded into the live results at the moment, so I can tell you that most of the “usuals” we’ve seen at qualifiers so far this season are back for another chance, with Addison Fatta most notable.
Addison Fatta is hoping to qualify to senior elite after a lengthy junior career
Live scores will be available on Score King, though we won’t be likely to get any streams or video of the happenings here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins