Vanessa Ferrari | Photo by Simone Ferraro
The Italians placed first and second with scores of 13.600 and 13.466, respectively. At a 5.9, Ferrari’s difficulty was six tenths higher than Mori’s, but with slightly lower execution as well as three tenths in out-of-bounds penalties, the final scores ended up just over a tenth apart, pointing to a final that could result in nothing more than a tiny step determining who gets to compete in Tokyo.
Mori is capable of greater difficulty, having been awarded a 5.6 at one of Italy’s Serie A meets this season as well as at the world cup in Melbourne last year. It’s possible that she’ll up her game a little in the final, but Ferrari will still have an advantage, and she’ll be hoping to clean up a bit in the final to create even more of a gap so she can ensure a first-place finish.
With no more than seven women competing on each event in qualifications, every gymnast who competed qualified into every final they attempted. Coline Devillard of France led vault with a 14.033 average, ahead of Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan with a 13.566 and Nancy Taman of Egypt with a 13.416.
On bars, Rebeca Andrade of Brazil had the top score with a 14.333, while Zsofia Kovacs of Hungary was second with a 13.466 (she attempted a 6.3 routine, the most difficult of her career) and Lorrane Oliveira of Brazil was third. Kovacs came back to lead the beam final with a 13.233, defeating both Brazilians, as Andrade is currently second with a 13.166 while Flavia Saraiva is third with a 13.091, and on floor, Kovacs finished behind the Italians with a 12.800 for third, a tenth ahead of Oliveira, who competed her piked arabian double front half-out to get the skill named for her in the Code of Points.
In the men’s competition, both of the top contenders for the pommel horse berth qualified to the final, as Saeedreza Keikha of Iran finished third with a 14.666 and Kameyama Kohei of Japan was fourth with a 14.533; the pair was behind Marios Georgiou and Nariman Kurbanov, who tied for first with matching scores of 14.900.
Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece, who is hoping to earn the nominative spot on rings, finished first on that event, but his score of 15.133 wouldn’t be enough to upset the current leader, Liu Yang of China, who is not competing here. He’ll have to add about two tenths to that score in the final to secure the Tokyo berth.
The race on vault also got interesting, as Yonekura Hidenobu of Japan topped the field with a 14.633 average, while current leader Shin Jea-hwan of South Korea missed his kaz 2½, finishing sixth with a 14.024. If Yonekura keeps it up and wins the event outright, he’ll bump up to 85 total points, matching Shin’s total, but Shin would still win the overall battle unless Yonekura can drop his 14.579 score from Melbourne 2019 and add over a 15.086 two-vault average. The last time he’s scored that high internationally was in 2019, but he did get a 15.150 at the All-Japan Championships a couple of weeks ago, so it’s not impossible.
Also adding to the drama here was Jorge Vega Lopez of Guatemala, currently ranked third in the overall world cup series standings, missing the final completely after finishing 15th with a 13.149 average due to lower difficulty than we typically expect from him, as well as a fall on his second vault. Vega Lopez said after that while Tokyo didn’t work out for him, he’s not done with gymnastics just yet, and “will come back even stronger,” though he’s going to put more effort into interests outside of gymnastics as well.
Rayderley Zapata of Spain, the likely Olympic qualifier on floor, finished second here with a 14.600, behind Artem Dolgopyat of Israel with a 14.900 and ahead of Milad Karimi of Kazakstan with a 14.433. Both Dolgopyat and Karimi have already qualified to Tokyo.
Neither of the parallel bars contenders (You Hao of China and Vladislav Poliashov of Russia) were in attendance here, nor was leading high bar hopeful Epke Zonderland, so we won’t see any down-to-the-wire drama on either event. But the finals are looking to be two of the most exciting of the competition. The Turkish men put on a parallel bars clinic in qualifications, as Ferhat Arican finished first with a 15.200 and teammate Ahmet Önder was second with a 14.766, while on high bar, Georgiou led with a 14.266, ahead of Karimi with a 14.066 and Joel Plata of Spain with a 14.033.
Full results are available here. Friday’s finals begin at 4 pm in Doha (8 am ET), with the men competing floor, pommels, and rings, while the women will get started on vault and bars.
Article by Lauren Hopkins