Another weekend, another challenge cup! Though the competition won’t be as big or as extravagant as it was in Paris last weekend, we’re still going to see a number of top athletes contending on each apparatus, including a massively strong Hungarian team – though one of its top members will be missing.
European vault champion Zsofia Kovacs unfortunately had to withdraw from the competition here after dealing with a strained abdominal muscle while training last week. The injury – which also caused her to withdraw from the competition in Paris – is reportedly minor, with Kovacs and her coaches preferring to not risk anything here with world championships being the key focus.
Instead, first-year senior Lilla Makai will compete bars in her place, alongside Zoja Szekely, who will also compete on vault. The WAG team will also have Greta Mayer competing vault, beam, and floor, while Mirtill Makovits will compete on beam and floor, with Nikolett Szilagyi – seventh in the beam final at the Paris Challenge Cup – performing exhibition routines on vault and floor.
On the men’s side, we’ll see Krisztofer Meszaros on floor, pommels, and vault, Krisztian Balazs on p-bars and high bar, Benedek Tomcsanyi on pommels and rings, Botond Kardos on floor and p-bars, David Vecsernyes on high bar, and Balazs Kiss on rings, with exhibitions from Szabolcs Batori and Marton Kovacs.
The U.S. has three WAG athletes competing here, including Addison Fatta, Katelyn Jong, and Levi Jung-Ruivivar, all of whom will be outliers for making the worlds team, but should be in medal contention for pretty much every event in this field if they can hit in finals. Others to watch will include Maisa Kuusikko and Ada Hautala of Finland, with Kuusikko especially strong on bars while Hautala will hope to improve her consistency on beam and floor in advance of worlds, while the Canadians, Jessica Dowling and Sydney Turner, will also be standouts across the board.
There’s also Teja Belak of Slovenia on vault, Barbora Mokosova of Slovakia on bars, Natalia Escalera of Mexico on vault and bars, Paulina Campos of Mexico on bars and beam, Aneta Holasova of the Czech Republic who should be at her strongest on vault and floor (but I’m hoping she’ll hit beam here after struggling a bit in recent months), her teammate Lucie Trnkova on beam and floor, and Ada Ogieglo of Poland on floor, where her score won’t be super high but she’ll have one of the more fabulous routines among these athletes here.
For the men, Ukraine will have Illia Kovtun back in business on every apparatus, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he made every final. I’m also going to be paying attention to Artem Dolgopyat of Israel on floor and vault along with his teammate Alexander Myakinin on high bar, Milad Karimi of Kazakhstan on floor and high bar and his teammate Nariman Kurbanov on pommels, Heath Thorpe of Australia on floor, his teammate Vedant Sawant on pommels, Matvei Petrov of Albania on pommels, Ahmad Abu Al Soud of Jordan on pommels (are we sensing a theme here?), Vinzenz Höck of Austria on rings, and Ivan Dejanovic of Serbia on high bar.
I also generally love watching Alexander Benda of Austria and David Huddleston of Bulgaria on everything, and the Brits here, Pavel Karnejenko and Adam Tobin, should also be strong across the board, and though Japan has sent a “B team” here, we’re going to see a ton of high-scoring routines from all of these guys, especially with Hiramatsu Koga on floor, Yoshida Motomu on high bar, and Haruki Minori on rings and p-bars. Taiwan also has a really strong team here, with execution king Tang Chia-Hung, Shiao Yu-Jan, and Lin Guan-Yi all going to make waves.
When’s It Happening?
Here’s the complete schedule, along with links to start lists. All times are local to Szombathely (CEST), which is six hours ahead of ET.
|FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30|
|3:00 pm||WAG & MAG Qualifications|
|SATURDAY OCTOBER 1|
|3:00 pm||WAG VT & UB Finals|
|MAG FX, PH & SR Finals|
|SUNDAY OCTOBER 2|
|3:00 pm||WAG BB & FX Finals|
|MAG VT, PH & HB Finals|
How Can We Watch?
Both qualifications and finals will be streamed live on the Hungarian Federation’s website (they usually embed the stream at the top of the homepage). You may need a VPN to watch, but you may not, so…prepare just in case you do? 🙂
Right now, there is no information available about live scores, but we’ll be live blogging every round of the competition and will share scores as they come in on the stream.
Here’s the official roster of all competitors expected to compete.
Nika Kukuljan Frleta
|Lee Man Hin
Ng Ka Ki
Szabolcs Batori (exhibition)
Marton Kovacs (exhibition)
Nikolett Szilagyi (exhibition)
|Ahmad Abu Al Soud
|Isaac Nuñez||Paulina Campos
|Matej Nemcovic||Barbora Mokosova
|Anze Hribar||Teja Belak|
|Ahmed Saleh Al Kumami
Mahmood Abdullah Al Maolegi
Abdulaziz Al Maswari
Muaadh Abdullah Dehaq
Article by Lauren Hopkins