Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos
After a bit of a break following an action-packed summer that culminated with a super exciting European Championships, which determined the final teams and individuals who would qualify to worlds, the competition season is about to ramp up again, beginning with this weekend’s Paris Challenge Cup.
Most exciting – at an event filled with so much potential to be exciting – is the return of Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos, both to the competition floor and to France after she spent much of this year training at World Champion’s Centre in Houston. De Jesus Dos Santos last competed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo just over a year ago, where she led her team to a sixth-place finish in addition to placing 11th in the all-around final and sixth on bars.
De Jesus Dos Santos is slated to compete on bars and beam, alongside teammates Coline Devillard on vault, Aline Friess on bars, and Marine Boyer on beam. On the MAG side, the host country has sent 2020 Olympian Loris Frasca on pommels and vault, Benjamin Osberger on floor and pommels, Cameron-Lie Bernard on rings and p-bars, Mathias Philippe on rings, p-bars, and high bar, Léo Saladino on floor and vault, and Edgar Boulet on high bar, with juniors Nicolas Diez, Axel Brèche, Lucas Desanges, and Paco Fernandes-Henriques competing exhibition routines.
Other top competitors here include Olympic champion Rebeca Andrade of Brazil, alongside two of her fellow 2022 Pan Ams gold medalist teammates. Andrade will only compete bars, unveiling a toe full to Fabrichnova in today’s podium training, while Lorrane Oliveira will compete bars and beam, and Flavia Saraiva will compete beam and floor. The men should also have quite a few standout routines with Caio Souza, Arthur Zanetti, Arthur Mariano, and up-and-comer Yuri Guimaraes on the roster.
For the U.S., 2020 Olympic champion Jade Carey will compete vault and beam, Olympic medalist Jordan Chiles will compete vault, bars, and floor, and this year’s national silver medalist Shilese Jones will compete bars, beam, and floor, while Olympian Brody Malone and fellow 2022 automatic worlds qualifier Donnell Whittenburg will compete all six events on the men’s side.
The Brits have sent athletes over the Channel, with 2020 Olympic medalist Jennifer Gadirova and Poppy Stickler competing all four events, and though Nina Derwael was initially expected to make her comeback here, she is no longer registered to compete, though a few gymnasts who competed at Euros and who are expected to make the worlds team – including vault finalist Lisa Vaelen – are on the list.
If I went on about every individual here who deserves to be called out as one to watch, this preview would never end, but I’ve included a full list of every competitor at the bottom of the page, organized by NOC.
When’s It Happening?
Here’s the complete schedule, along with links to start lists. All times are local to Paris (CEST), which is six hours ahead of ET.
|SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24|
|1:30 pm||Qualifications – Session 1
MAG FX, PH, SR and WAG VT, UB
|5:25 pm||Qualifications – Session 2
MAG VT, PB, HB and WAG BB, FX
|SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25|
|1:30 pm||MAG FX Final|
|2:06 pm||WAG VT and MAG PH Final|
|2:44 pm||WAG UB and MAG SR Final|
|4:10 pm||WAG BB and MAG VT Final|
|4:48 pm||WAG FX and MAG PB Final|
|5:27 pm||MAG HB Final|
How Can We Watch?
Qualifications won’t be streamed, but you’ll be able to follow along with live scores via Swiss Timing, and the French federation will likely be sharing on social media, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
You’ll be able to watch all of Sunday’s finals on MaGymTV, in addition to following along with live scores and additional coverage at the above links.
Here’s the official roster of all competitors expected to compete, based on the most recent start lists.
Ahmed El Maraghy
Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos
|Ng Ka Ki
Shek Wai Hung
|Angel Wong Hiu Ying
Edoardo de Rosa
|Loran de Munck
Martijn de Veer
Article by Lauren Hopkins