Zhang Boheng, the talented up-and-comer for China who was left off of the 2020 Olympic team despite placing second all-around at nationals and winning the final Olympic trial, had a dominant performance in qualifications for the Chinese National Games today, leading all-around qualifications by more than half a point in addition to making it into the floor, rings, and high bar finals.
The decision to leave Zhang at home was supposedly due to his lack of experience and the need for a top high bar gymnast, which the team thought they had in Lin Chaopan, but Zhang proved himself yet again with his performance in Xi’an, putting up top ten scores on every event except parallel bars, where he showed his only sign of faltering. He also led his province, Hunan, to second place in team qualifications, coming up just 1.399 short of besting Jiangsu, led by 2020 Olympian Sun Wei.
Sun, who finished fourth in the Olympic all-around final and won a bronze medal with the team, also had an excellent day in Xi’an, qualifying third all-around with an 86.032, just a few tenths behind Tokyo teammate Xiao Ruoteng with an 86.432. These three will go into the all-around final as nearly unbeatable by the rest of the field, and additionally, Xiao qualified into four apparatus finals (all but rings and vault), while Sun will compete in the pommels and high bar finals, where he qualified second and third, respectively.
Rounding out the top eight all-around qualifiers were Shi Cong with an 84.932, Lan Xingyu with an 84.165, Ta Yinga with an 84.032, Yang Jiaxing with an 83.466, and Hu Xuwei with an 83.231.
It was a bit of déjà vu as 2020 Olympic rings champion Liu Yang had no problem qualifying first into that final, earning a 15.266, and Olympic silver medalist You Hao qualified second with a 15.100, but while these two assured themselves as the strongest yet again, there were three other guys within just a few tenths of threatening them, as Zhang came in with a 14.933, Olympic parallel bars champion Zou Jingyuan posted a 14.866, and Lan Xingyu earned a 14.833.
Speaking of Zou, he of course led the parallel bars competition in qualifications, putting up a massive 16.100 ahead of You, who was fourth in Tokyo, but second here with a 15.433. Zou also qualified fourth into both the pommel horse and rings finals.
The rest of those who qualified into the parallel bars field were all at a 14.9 or better, so while Zou and You will be hard to beat for the top two spots on the podium, the rest of the guys all come in within a tenth of one another, so the race for bronze should be an exciting one.
The remaining member of China’s Olympic team, Lin Chaopan, competed only on high bar here, qualifying seventh with a 14.333, about three tenths back from Hu Xuwei in the lead with a 14.633.
Su Weide leads the floor competition with a 15.200, just a little over a tenth ahead of Zhang with a 15.066. On pommel horse, Weng Hao – who came close to winning an individual Olympic berth at the world cups – topped the field with a 15.400, with a solid margin ahead of Sun, Xiao, and Zou. Vault standout Huang Mingqi took an easy lead going into that final, earning scores of 14.900 and 14.633 to average a 14.766, and I expect he’ll upgrade his second vault in the final.
2016 Olympic medalist Deng Shudi, 30, also deserves some recognition here for making three of the four finals he attempted, including finishing third on floor, sixth on rings, and fifth on high bar. He unfortunately missed making his second Olympic team this summer after finishing third all-around at the final trial, but I love seeing him continue at a high level and hope he can pull off a medal or two here.
The team battle will be between Jiangsu, which posted a 338.961 in qualifications, and Hunan, which came in at a 337.562. The Jiangsu team was led by Sun, and picked up additional strong scores from all-arounder Shi, pommels star Weng, and rings and parallel bars standout You, while Zhang took the reins for Hunan, getting some help from all-arounder Yang Jiaxing, Tan Di on parallel bars and high bar, Qu Ruiyang on rings and vault, Li Yi on parallel bars, and Liu Yang (a different Liu Yang from the rings god) on four events.
Rounding out the teams that made the final are Guangdong, Guangxi, Beijing (Xiao’s team), Shandong, Guizhou (Deng’s team), and Zhejiang.
The women begin qualifications on Monday, September 20 at 10 am local time, which is 10 pm on the east coast tonight, the 19th. The first subdivision at 10 am includes Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Henan, and Fujian, the second subdivision at 3 pm includes Zhejiang, Guangxi, Shanghai, Sichuan, and Anhui, and the third subdivision at 7 pm includes Guangdong, Beijing, and two mixed groups.
Once qualifications finish, we’ll have the men’s team final on September 21 at 2:30 pm, the women’s team final on September 22 at 3 pm, the men’s all-around on September 23 at 3 pm, the women’s all-around on September 24 at 3 pm, and event finals held over September 25 and 26, with both days beginning at 2:30 pm. You can follow along all week with the live stream and live scores, and while we won’t be able to cover this competition live due to the time zones not working out, we’ll have daily recaps and will do our best to share everything we can after we wake up. 🙂
1. Zhang Boheng, Hunan, 87.098
2. Xiao Ruoteng, Beijing, 86.432
3. Sun Wei, Jiangsu, 86.032
4. Shi Cong, Jiangsu, 84.932
5. Lan Xingyu, Guangxi, 84.165
6. Ta Yinga, Guangdong, 84.032
7. Yang Jiaxing, Hunan, 83.466
8. Hu Xuwei, Guangxi, 83.231
9. Yang Haonan, Zhejiang, 82.365
10. Zhang Zhilong, Jiangxi, 81.199
11. Ji Lianshen, Guangdong, 80.864
12. Wei Guozheng, Shandong, 80.098
13. Xu Chengyu, Shandong, 79.065
14. Li Hongyan, Sichuan, 78.831
15. Tian Hao, Zhejiang, 78.665
16. Ruan Jiayong, Jiangxi, 77.732
17. Jin Huanzhang, Guizhou, 77.598
18. Ma Chaolong, Beijing, 77.198
19. Long Zizheng, Guizhou, 76.997
20. Zhang Songhonghao, Henan, 76.164
21. Guo Qiulin, Sichuan, 75.098
22. Tao Haopeng, Henan, 73.465
1. Su Weide, Shandong, 15.200
2. Zhang Boheng, Hunan, 15.066
3. Deng Shudi, Guizhou, 14.900
4. Ge Shihao, Shandong, 14.733
5. Xiao Ruoteng, Beijing, 14.700
6. Chen Feng, Hubei, 14.600
7. Zuo Bo, Shaanxi, 14.533
8. Zhang Zhilong, Jiangxi, 14.433
POMMEL HORSE QUALIFIERS
1. Weng Hao, Jiangsu, 15.400
2. Sun Wei, Jiangsu, 15.000
3. Xiao Ruoteng, Beijing, 14.800
4. Zou Jingyuan, Sichuan, 14.700
5. Lu Chongcan, Guangxi, 14.600
6. Li Yule, Shaanxi, 14.533
7. Yan Renpeng, Shandong, 14.466
8. Fu Yu, Tianjin, 14.433
1. Liu Yang, Liaoning, 15.266
2. You Hao, Jiangsu, 15.100
3. Zhang Boheng, Hunan, 14.933
4. Zou Jingyuan, Sichuan, 14.866
5. Lan Xingyu, Guangxi, 14.833
6. Deng Shudi, Guizhou, 14.533
7. Wu Guanhua, Shaanxi, 14.533
8. Wu Jianfei, Beijing, 14.533
1. Huang Mingqi, Guangxi, 14.766
2. Qi Ruiyang, Hunan, 14.483
3. Chen Zhilong, Guizhou, 14.350
4. Chen Yilu, Zhejiang, 14.316
5. Tao Haopeng, Henan, 14.250
6. Liu Yang, Hunan, 14.049
7. Lan Xingyu, Guangxi, 13.916
8. Yan Xiyao, Shaanxi, 13.816
PARALLEL BARS QUALIFIERS
1. Zou Jingyuan, Sichuan, 16.100
2. You Hao, Jiangsu, 15.433
3. Xiao Ruoteng, Beijing, 15.000
4. Du Yixin, Guangdong, 15.000
5. Hu Xuwei, Guangxi, 14.966
— Wu Xiaoming, Guangdong, 14.966
7. Liu Rongbing, Guizhou, 14.966
8. Liu Yang, Hunan, 14.900
HIGH BAR QUALIFIERS
1. Hu Xuwei, Guangxi, 14.633
2. Ji Lianshen, Guangdong, 14.466
3. Sun Wei, Jiangsu, 14.466
4. Xiang Bagenqiu, Beijing, 14.433
5. Deng Shudi, Guizhou, 14.433
6. Xiao Ruoteng, Beijing, 14.400
7. Lin Chaopan, Fujian, 14.333
8. Zhang Boheng, Hunan, 14.300
1. Jiangsu 338.961
2. Hunan 337.562
3. Guangdong 335.026
4. Guangxi 329.527
5. Beijing 327.329
6. Shandong 326.760
7. Guizhou 325.291
8. Zhejiang 324.793
Article by Lauren Hopkins