FIG Proposes Updated Olympic Qualification Process for 2024 Quad – What Does It Look Like?

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I’ve been in a post-Olympics haze since returning from Tokyo, and while I still have a lot I’d like to analyze from Tokyo, I figured what better way to take a break than with a brand-new Olympic qualifications system?

At an FIG meeting in Doha, federations came up with an updated system that uses bits and pieces of things that worked in the 2020 quad, but that also takes some issues into consideration.

Qualifying as a Team

The FIG previously decided that countries qualifying full teams will once again be able to send teams of five instead of four, and they also made the decision to drop the additional individual spots for countries with full teams. A country that qualifies a full team will have a full team of five, no more, no less, which I’m sure will be a welcome change for federations that struggled with how to best build teams when you don’t yet know who may or may not be eligible to contribute. 

Like last quad, the top three teams at the mid-quad world championships – 2022 – will qualify to the Olympic Games, while the next nine qualify the year before the Games, in 2023.

Qualifying as an All-Arounder

With teams no longer bringing individual qualifiers, the need for the all-around world cups as a qualifier is moot, but the other routes for all-around competitors are still open, with most able to earn spots at 2023 World Championships, while the rest will get in via continental championships.

The most crucial difference is that the teams that finish 13th through 15th at 2023 worlds will be able to qualify their top two individual competitors, instead of just one, taking up a total of six spots. The remaining spots – seven for MAG, 13 for WAG – will be awarded one-per-NOC, also based on qualifications at worlds in 2023, for a total of 13 MAG and 19 WAG all-arounders.

Another change is that only one gymnast per continent will be able to qualify via continental championships in 2024. Last quad, Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa each qualified two, while Australia just had the one. A total of five men and women will qualify this way, instead of 11 each last quad.

Qualifying as a Specialist

Specialists will be able to qualify through both worlds in 2023 and through the apparatus world cup series held in 2024, with Cottbus, Baku, Doha, and Cairo – the latter taking over for Melbourne – acting as hosts. 

At world championships, up to three specialists per event were eligible to qualify to the Olympics last quad, but in the 2024 quad, it decreases to just one per event, so six MAG and four WAG. It won’t affect the women at all – only one specialist qualified to the Olympics at worlds in 2019 – but it could make a big difference for the men, especially on events with lots of specialist depth, like rings, where two of the finals competitors in Tokyo were qualifiers from worlds.

However, the world cup series will allow for two qualifiers per event, instead of just one, for a total of 12 MAG and eight WAG, meaning specialists will be more likely to attempt to qualify this way.

Host Country & Tripartite

The host country and tripartite spots haven’t changed. Should France not qualify teams or individuals in either MAG or WAG, they will be given a host country spot, though this almost certainly won’t be an issue for either, in which case this spot will be reallocated to the all-around pool at worlds in 2023.

The tripartite spot, meanwhile, will go to gymnasts from eligible NOCs, aka those with fewer than eight athletes in individual sports or disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games. Typically, the FIG will nominate the highest-ranked athlete from an eligible country at the previous world championships who didn’t qualify outright.

How Would This System Have Worked in the 2020 Quad?

I don’t think this system is as confusing as last quad’s. For one, we’ve already experienced watching a super complicated qualification process unravel, and on top of that, we did it in a pandemic, which created even more confusion as multiple rules changed along the way. But it’s still a lot to take in, so using the results from world championships, the world cup series, and continental championships in the 2020 quad, I put together the lists of who would have qualified had this system been in place.

Mid-Quad World Championships

The top three NOCs qualify a full five-member team based on their finish in the team final at world championships in November 2022.

MAG WAG
China United States
Russia Russia
Japan China
Total: 15 Total: 15

Based on results from world championships in 2018.

Pre-Olympic World Championships | Teams

The top nine NOCs qualify a full five-member team based on their finish in team qualifications at world championships in October 2023.

MAG WAG
Ukraine France
Great Britain Canada
Switzerland Netherlands
United States Great Britain
Taiwan Italy
South Korea Germany
Brazil Belgium
Spain Japan
Germany Spain
Total: 45 Total: 45

Based on results from world championships in 2019.

Pre-Olympic World Championships | Individual All-Arounders

A total of 13 men and 19 women will qualify nominative spots based on their finish in all-around qualifications at world championships in October 2023.

Two gymnasts per NOC will qualify from teams that finished 13th, 14th, and 15th in qualifications for a total of six MAG and six WAG athletes, and all others are one per NOC for a total of seven MAG and 13 WAG.

MAG WAG
Ludovico Edalli (Italy) Georgia Godwin (Australia)
Niccolo Mozzato (Italy) Emma Nedov (Australia)
Loris Frasca (France) Flavia Saraiva (Brazil)
Antoine Borello (France) Thais Fidelis (Brazil)
Ferhat Arican (Turkey) Diana Varinska (Ukraine)
Ahmet Önder (Turkey) Anastasiia Bachynska (Ukraine)
Carlos Yulo (Philippines) Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland)
Manrique Larduet (Cuba) Lee Yun-seo (South Korea)
Milad Karimi (Kazakhstan) Zsofia Kovacs (Hungary)
Robert Tvorogal (Lithuania) Martina Dominici (Argentina)
Alexander Shatilov (Israel) Alexa Moreno (Mexico)
Artur Davtyan (Armenia) Danusia Francis (Jamaica)
David Huddleston (Bulgaria) Kim Su Jong (North Korea)
  Aneta Holasova (Czech Republic)
  Marcia Vidiaux (Cuba)
  Maria Holbura (Romania)
  Elisa Hämmerle (Austria)
  Anastasiya Alistratava (Belarus)
  Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (Malaysia)
Total: 13 Total: 19

Based on results from world championships in 2019.

Pre-Olympic World Championships | Individual Event Specialists

A total of six men and four women will qualify nominative berths based on their finish in apparatus finals at world championships in October 2023. If there are no eligible athletes for an apparatus, the spot will be reallocated to the all-around field.

MAG WAG
FX: Artem Dolgopyat (Israel) VT: Yeo Seo-jeong (South Korea)
PH: Rhys McClenaghan (Ireland) UB: Mandy Mohamed (Egypt)*
SR: Ibrahim Colak (Turkey) BB: Nazli Savranbasi (Turkey)*
VT: Marian Dragulescu (Romania) FX: Barbora Mokosova (Slovakia)*
PB: Bart Deurloo (Netherlands)*  
HB: Tin Srbic (Croatia)  
Total: 6 Total: 4

*Reallocated to all-around field due to no eligible competitors in the apparatus final

Based on results from world championships in 2019.

Apparatus World Cup Series

A total of 12 MAG and eight WAG athletes will qualify nominative spots based on their ranking at the conclusion of the four-meet series in March 2024.

MAG WAG
FX: Emil Soravuo (Finland) VT: Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan)
FX: Rok Klavora (Slovenia) VT: Teja Belak (Slovenia)
PH: Saeedreza Keikha (Iran) UB: Rebeca Andrade (Brazil)
PH: Nariman Kurbanov (Kazakhstan) UB: Georgia-Rose Brown (Australia)
SR: Eleftherios Petrounias (Greece) BB: Ting Hua-Tien (Taiwan)
SR: Ali Zahran (Egypt) BB: Zeina Ibrahim (Egypt)
VT: Andrey Medvedev (Israel) FX: Marta Pihan-Kulesza (Poland)
VT: Jorge Vega (Guatemala) FX: Angelina Radivilova (Ukraine)
PB: Dinh Phuong Thanh (Vietnam)  
PB: Andrey Likhovitskiy (Belarus)  
HB: Epke Zonderland (Netherlands)  
HB: Mitchell Morgans (Australia)  
Total: 12 Total: 8

Based on the FIG’s rankings at the conclusion of the 2018-2020 world cup series. The above scenario assumes there is a one-per-NOC limitation as there was in the 2020 quad.

Continental Championships

A total of five men and five women (one per continent) will qualify nominative berths based on their finish in all-around qualifications at the continental championships series in 2024.

  MAG WAG
African Championships Omar Mohamed (Egypt) Naveen Daries (South Africa)
Asian Championships Rasuljon Abdurakhimov (Uzbekistan) Tan Sze En (Singapore)
European Championships Adem Asil (Turkey) Larisa Iordache (Romania)
Oceania Championships Mikhail Koudinov (New Zealand) Emily Whitehead (Australia)
Pan-American Championships Javier Sandoval (Colombia) Luciana Alvarado (Costa Rica)
  Total: 5 Total: 5

Based on results from continental championships in 2021, with the exception of Asian Championships, which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, I selected the top Asian qualifiers based on all-around qualifications world championships in 2019, coinciding with the rule change in the 2020 quad.

Host Country & Tripartite Invitations

The host country is guaranteed one spot if not qualified through other criteria, and one nominative tripartite commission invitation spot is available to an athlete meeting eligibility criteria.

  MAG WAG
Host Country Daniel Corral (Mexico) Filipa Martins (Portugal)
Tripartite Matvei Petrov (Albania) Milka Gehani (Sri Lanka)
  Total: 2 Total: 2

Since the host country qualified for both MAG and WAG, this berth was reallocated to the next highest-ranked all-around athlete based on qualifications at world championships in 2019.

Tripartite nomination was based on NOCs meeting eligibility criteria at world championships in 2019.

Takeaways

Here are the key points that popped into my head as I was working through this case study. 

  • A number of lower-ranked all-arounders in both MAG and WAG would not have qualified to the Olympic Games, with the cutoffs going from 51st for MAG and 94th in WAG based on the 2020 system to 42nd in MAG and 65th in WAG based on the 2024 system.
  • This means Oksana Chusovitina would not have qualified to her eighth and final Olympic Games via worlds, though she would go on to qualify as a specialist on vault at the world cup series, so we can breathe a sigh of relief. Given that NOCs that qualify two teams are no longer eligible to take these spots, I’d imagine Chusovitina and other top specialists will focus on qualifying this way first, and then world championships will become a secondary goal should the world cups not work out.
  • I love seeing so many world cup regulars who happen to be specialists qualify via the apparatus series. I think this is why the apparatus world cup qualifier should exist, for those who are consistently winning medals internationally but who don’t compete as well in the all-around.
  • That said, on some events we had to dig really deep into the rankings to find gymnasts from eligible NOCs, as most of the top-ranked gymnasts on several events were those who had already qualified teams or would go on to qualify teams at world championships.
  • All individual athletes who went on to medal at the 2020 Olympic Games would have still qualified through this system, though several countries would miss out on these medal opportunities if they didn’t include the athletes they brought to Tokyo as individuals on their five-person teams since taking a +1 along for an individual berth is no longer allowed. For example, China would have needed to name Guan Chenchen to its five-person team to have her in a position to win gold on beam.
  • Opening up two-per-NOC qualifying for the teams ranked 13th through 15th meant several talented all-arounders who missed out on Tokyo would have made it had this been the case last quad.
  • Australia would have qualified four WAG spots! They would have qualified two all-around spots at worlds for finishing 13th as a team, and then would have gone on to earn a specialist berth via the world cup series, as well as a continental championships berth.
  • The Turkish men also would have qualified four MAG spots, which they did under the 2020 system as well.
  • Not much changed in terms of continental championships, though with Rebeca Andrade of Brazil previously qualifying at the world cup series, she would no longer be eligible to qualify at Pan Ams, meaning Luciana Alvarado takes over as the top qualifier for the continent.
  • For the men, neither the U.S. nor Brazil would have been eligible to qualify at Pan Ams having already qualified full teams to the Games, so Jossimar Calvo – who sadly missed qualifying this quad – would have made it instead. 

Anything else you noticed that you want to bring up? Give it a mention in the comments!

Article by Lauren Hopkins

 

31 thoughts on “FIG Proposes Updated Olympic Qualification Process for 2024 Quad – What Does It Look Like?

    • I know, they have continental championships but with only one allowed per continent, it’s going to be nearly impossible, especially in Europe, and even more especially if top athletes can’t go to worlds for whatever reason and then rely on continental championships to get in (like Iordache in 2020). I don’t think they’d consider using junior worlds, but I wish they’d let gymnasts who turn senior in the Olympic year and who aren’t from countries that qualify full teams go to worlds. So like, the U.S. couldn’t take 15-year-olds, but Denmark could.

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      • I don’t disagree, but how would that work if we don’t know which teams are going to qualify a full team until after the fact? (I mean, there’s predictions that can be made — USA probably will, Denmark probably won’t — but there are always teams in the gray area.) Or do you mean if they don’t qualify a full team to Worlds (as opposed to qualifying to the Olympics via Worlds, which is how I read your comment)?

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        • I meant if they don’t qualify a full team to the 2023 worlds, which we’d know in advance…right now, countries without full teams at 2023 worlds can bring three individual athletes, but it would be cool if they could also bring 2008-born athletes.

          Of course, that doesn’t take into consideration the 12 countries that qualify to 2023 worlds but that don’t qualify full teams to the Olympics, leaving them unable to qualify first-year 2024 seniors…so not a perfect solution! Maybe every country can be allowed one 2008-born gymnast at 2023 worlds, aside from the three teams that qualified to the Olympics in 2022?

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  1. Lauren, what a gift you are to us. I can recall so many years in the 70’s and 80’s waiting sometimes a full week to hear results of gymnastics competitions. And now, even at 3 AM I can get up to the minute results from you. Your coverage of the Olympics was outstanding and your commentary and analysis unsurpassed. Oh how we would have loved to have you back in the day when we waited on edge to hear how Nadia or Elena or Tracee performed (I’m guessing you were not yet born?) Anyway, thank you so much

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so so much! This is the best comment I’ve ever received. No, I wasn’t yet born in the 70s and the first competition I have a memory of is 1996, but I’ve gone back and watched everything I could get my hands on and wish I had been around back then to watch and chat!

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  2. Amazing analysis, thank you very much for that. To be fully sure, I understand it correctly- the USA would have qualified with a team of 5 athletes for WAG not more than that. With the results from championships and trials, the US team could have been Biles, Lee, Chiles, McCallum and Carey (higher chances to medal in vault and floor over Skinner). And so Skinner would have been left out. Does that make sense?

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    • Not necessarily. Remember, Skinner placed 5th at Trials – she would’ve been on the 5-person team if the NTC had gone with a straight up “top 5 AA are going” policy in this scenario. Jade would’ve had to outperform Mykayla in the all-around to get on the team.

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    • I was going to say essentially the same as Rosie, that Tom would’ve basically been forced to put MyKayla on the team over Jade since she outscored her at trials…but also, in a world where Jade wasn’t already qualified to the Olympics, she likely would’ve done full difficulty and two complete AA performances at trials, so there is a chance she could have finished ahead of MyKayla at trials and ended up on the team. She beat MyKayla in the AA at the Olympics, so it could have gone either way in this hypothetical world.

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      • As Lauren says, it could have gone either way, particularly since Jade would have been forced to compete directly with MyKayla (and everybody else) for a spot on the team. I think the real irony is that it seems unlikely that _both_ of them would have ended up on the team, which would have meant one fewer medal for the US. (Although who knows whether Simone would have still gotten the twisties, or Jade had the same problems with her first vault in EF…but that’s piling “what if” on top of “what if.”)

        I can see Russia easily picking Ilyankova as their fifth team member, but would China have taken
        Guan over two-time world champ Fan? If not, China might also have come home with one fewer medal,
        although Lu would have been in contention.

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  3. What a shame the World Cups are either in Europe, the ME or northern Africa. I get that Melbourne is a long way for athletes to travel, but surely they could have scheduled one in Asia? Even North America? They are meant to be WORLD Cups after all.

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    • Baku IS in Asia, and given that the vast majority of Olympic-competitive NOCs (not to mention humans in general) are located in Europe and Asia, it makes perfect sense for the world cups to be concentrated in that area. This is a good way to make sure the maximum number of gymnasts get an opportunity to participate.

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    • I don’t think there are that many candidates to host World Cup events (and same goes with the mi-quad world championships …)….. For example I doubt the USA was a contender (given the American Cup is no longer on the calendar), I don’t think Canada has organized a World Cup event these last few decades etc. but it’s true that one competition (among the annual 4) in China, Japan, Australia or Brazil (just to name some non european countries with more or less recent experience) would have looked better.

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    • I agree that they should be more spread out. Most athletes are in Europe, and the four WC host cities are “central” for both the Americas and Asia/Australia…so it makes sense in that way, but a lot of the programs in the Americas and Asia don’t have the funding to send athletes to this region for a full month of qualifiers. I’m fine with keeping the four where they are, but I think they should also add one in the Americas and one in Asia/Oceania, either before or after that core four.

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  4. So there is literally NO chance for a 2024 senior to qualify unless they are from a country that qualifies a full team? This is why we need the test event. I wonder if this is the FIG’s attempt at pushing for older athletes rather than 16 year olds at the Olympics.

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    • Are the two spots for the countries ranked 13th-15th nominative ?
      There is still the continentals for one 2024 senior to qualify as an individual.
      It’s such a good thing FIG got rid of the test event …. Not healthy at all for the teams/gymnasts who were asked to pick THREE times in about 9 months ….

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    • I think there are ways to qualify without the use of a test event, especially because many countries with top new seniors in an Olympic year wouldn’t have anyone at worlds the previous year to qualify a non-nominative spot at the test event. Using Denmark as an example, Victoria Gilberg was the top competitor at 2019 worlds, and she would not have qualified Denmark to the test event, so Denmark wouldn’t have any spots at the test event for someone like Camille Rasmussen to use in an attempt to qualify. Compare that to Hungary in the 2016 quad, where they were able to qualify two non-nominative spots to the test event, and the federation was able to give one to a first-year senior, Zsofia Kovacs, who went on to qualify for Rio.

      It would work for SOME countries, but wouldn’t solve the problem for all, so I think countries that don’t have a team presence at the pre-Olympic world championships should be allowed to take gymnasts who turn 16 in the Olympic year, OR they hold a test event in the Olympic year where all NOCs that didn’t qualify teams to the Games would be allowed to send 2 athletes, no pre-qualifying involved.

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    • It hasn’t yet been specified…in the past, the two-per-NOC situations were non-nominative when qualifying from worlds to the test event, and then from the test event to the Olympics, it was nominative. I kept it nominative in this scenario because the one-per-NOCs ARE nominative, but it could be that Australian WAG finishing 13th as a team (and so on with 14th and 15th) means that Australia owns the spots and can later name them.

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      • I would assume that spots allocated by team placement, instead of individual placement, would almost have to be non-nominative since it would be the team collectively that earned those 2 spots. Or am I totally off base here?

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        • No, I think you could definitely be on the right path if the spots go to the teams! Then they would definitely be non-nominative. But I also read it as being if a team qualifies in those positions, they qualify two gymnasts from the AA pool instead of one, in which case it would be nominative. I think it’s just unclear (to me anyway!) right now as to whether the country qualifies the spots for finishing 13th-15th, or if the athletes still qualify based on AA, but they just get one additional nominative in the mix because of how the team finished. I read it more as the latter, but could see it also being awarded to the NOC?

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  5. Thanks for such a rich and in depth analysis and the impact such rules would have had on the 2020 Olympics. The process for Tokyo was very complicated to understand and Covid didn’t simplify things. It was also a nightmare to know who would get the nominative spots via the World Cup circuit in case of ties or in case the same country was the leader in 2 events with the exact same points. Even the gymnasts themselves seem not to know what was going on, and if they were to be considered reserves in case the selected athlete couldn’t go. And the reallocation of the spots from the AA World Cups after Covid cancelled all events wasn’t really fair.

    What was great however with the Tokyo process was that it selected the best of the best regardless of the country (more or less) and that’s why we had such great event finals. It was also a good opportunity for AAers from smaller countries to go to Tokyo. With the 2024 process, I’m afraid some specialists won’t be able to qualify to the final and the final selection will depend on how the countries construct their teams with a right balance of AAers and specialists.
    If the process is clear enough from the beginning, delegations will adapt their strategies. Does that also mean that the top countries won’t send gymnasts to World Cups, knowing that they won’t get a berth out of them (they still can send them for the titles and experience but the participation last quad was very much impacted by the stakes).
    I would have loved to see Andrey Medvedev and Morgan Mitchell in Tokyo. But I would have missed Samir Aït Saïd, David Rumbutis, René Cournoyer and Tomas Gonzalez. I guess no system is perfect when there about 100 (male) gymnasts selected included those in the teams.

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  6. I am also questioning if teams 13-15 will be eligible for a 3rd spot via Continentals.
    Australia is pretty much always going to get the Oceania spot, unless they qualify a full team.
    Africa is going to always be a battle between Egypt and South Africa.

    So would Australia, having been 13th and getting 2 non-nominative spots also be allowed to qualify another spot at Oceania champs to get a 3rd?

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  7. This is such a brilliant piece of analysis! Out of curiosity, what would this have meant for someone like Vanessa Ferrari under this system? Because (if I’ve understood correctly and please correct me if not!) I think she qualified as an individual specialist but made it onto the team because of Giorgia Villa’s injury, so would she have missed out on a specialist place and needed to have been on the team to make the final?

    Additionally, assuming team GB has a decent year at worlds 2023 (or even 2022, who knows any more! Isn’t that exciting?), does this mean Becky Downie needs to be on the team in order to compete her bars in Paris?

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    • With this criteria, top 12 teams are not eligible to get a +1. So Ferrari would not have been eligible for the FX specialist. She would likely have been on the 5 person team as Italy needed a strong floor worker.
      Not sure who the 5th Italian would have been give that Carofiglio and Iorio were injured and limited to bars an d beam. Iorio went 14.00 on bars in the all around and then 14.350 in event finals.
      She most likely would have made the team for bars alone with the D’Amatos, and Maggio doing AA and Ferrari doing VT/BB/FX.

      Yes, Becky will need to be on the 5 person team in Paris in order to compete as GBR will likely finish top 9 (minus top 3 from 2022) in 2023. If GBR can place top 3 in 2022 they will secure a 5 person team in Paris. It is entirely possible if Becky D and the Gadirovas are on the team. Morgan is out of 2022 most likely given she will be in the NCAA. Not sure what Kinsella plans to do. Also not familiar with 2006 ladies eligible next year.

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