Teams, All-Arounders Earn Worlds Berths at Euros


Maria Tronrud

Qualifications at European Championships have been incredibly exciting, especially as this stage of the competition determined the team champions, with the British women and the Italian men both making history in winning first-ever team gold medals for their countries.

But just as exciting was the moment we learned who would qualify to world championships, as this continental meet decides the largest number of competitors who will compete in Antwerp later this year, including 13 teams (more than half of the 24 total qualifiers across the globe) and 23 individuals for both the women’s and men’s fields.

Though this is the first meet this season to name qualifiers to worlds, the process actually began at last year’s competition in Liverpool, where any team to reach the final would automatically move forward. On the women’s side, this included Great Britain, Italy, and France, leaving 10 spots open for teams competing in Antalya.

In the end, things wound up being pretty straightforward and unsurprising, with the bronze medal-winning Netherlands taking the top spot, followed by Hungary, Romania, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Austria, and Czechia. Nearly all of these teams qualified to worlds last year, with the exception of the Czech women, who came close, finishing just a point back from the cutoff. But the Czech team making it this year means one of the teams to qualify in 2022 would miss out, and sadly, this ended up being Ukraine, which finished 16th after struggling here, largely due to a lack of depth.

Maria Tronrud of Norway topped the list of individual qualifiers after finishing 25th in all-around qualifications. Also earning spots in Antwerp were Barbora Mokosova of Slovakia, Emma Slevin of Ireland, Anna Lashchevska of Ukraine, Lucija Hribar of Slovenia, Camille Rasmussen of Denmark, Caterina Cereghetti of Switzerland, Lena Bickel of Switzerland, Sevgi Kayisoglu of Türkiye, Athanasia Mesiri of Greece, Filipa Martins of Portugal, Paloma Mintcheva of Bulgaria, Zala Trtnik of Slovenia, Thelma Adalsteinsdottir of Iceland, Ilona Krupa of Ukraine, Mafalda Costa of Portugal, Halle Hilton of Ireland, Lihie Raz of Israel, Christina Zwicker of Croatia, Mari Kanter of Norway, Margret Kristinsdottir of Iceland, Bengisu Yildiz of Türkiye, and Valerija Ratobilska of Latvia.

Of course, this list is subject to the FIG’s confirmation, but once the federation begins sending out invitations and finalizing the group of qualifiers, a spot will also go to the first reserve, Celeste Mordenti of Luxembourg. The guaranteed spot set aside for the host country, Belgium, isn’t needed with the country qualifying a full team, so this spot is dropped back into the all-around pool at the continental meet where the host country competes, so Mordenti is thus the beneficiary here.

Mordenti aside, the list of reserves also includes Kaja Skalska of Poland, Anastasija Ananjeva of Latvia, Nazanin Teymurova of Azerbaijan, and Brygida Urbanska of Poland, so should any of the qualified individuals withdraw for any reason, these athletes will be next in line to get an invite.

The men also saw three teams qualifying at worlds last year, including Great Britain, Italy, and Spain. Joining these programs based on the team competition here were Türkiye, which won an historic silver medal at home in Antalya, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, the Netherlands, and Israel.

Again, nothing here was much of a surprise, with the exception of Israel sneaking in for the last spot after finishing 16th last year. It was a pretty big jump for the Israeli team, which finished about eight tenths of the Finnish men, who were my favorites for an upset, but sadly finished 14th for the second year in a row. The team that finished lucky 13th last year, Austria, unfortunately struggled with a number of injuries in the weeks leading up to this meet, with top-scoring specialist Vinzenz Höck sitting out while the normally strong all-arounder Alexander Benda was limited to just high bar, holding the team back to just 19th place.

The top individual qualifier was Artur Davtyan of Armenia, who finished fourth overall in qualifications, while the rest of the list also includes Elias Koski of Finland, Robert Tvorogal of Lithuania, Oskar Kirmes of Finland, Sofus Heggemsnes of Norway, Nikolaos Iliopoulos of Greece, Ilias Georgiou of Cyprus, Ricardo Rudy of Austria, Harald Wibye of Norway, Ivan Tikhonov of Azerbaijan, Askhab Matiev of Austria, Gytis Chasazyrovas of Lithuania, Gagik Khachikyan of Armenia, Sebastian Gawronski of Poland, Adam Steele of Ireland, Michalis Chari of Cyprus, Jose Nogueira of Portugal, Kacper Garnczarek of Poland, Petar Vefic of Serbia, Yordan Aleksandrov of Bulgaria, Kevin Penev of Bulgaria, Daniel Bago of Czechia, and Marcus Stenberg of Sweden.

As with the women’s field, the host country spot will also be reallocated to the all-around pool thanks to Belgium qualifying a full team, with Valgard Reinhardsson of Iceland set to be the recipient. The next reserves on the list include Dagur Olafsson of Iceland, Ricards Plate of Latvia, Guilherme Campos of Portugal, and Dominick Cunningham of Ireland.

Next up on the list of continental qualifiers are the Oceanic Championships, held in Australia on May 6, followed by the African Championships in South Africa and the Pan American Championships in Colombia both beginning May 26, and then the Asian Championships, which kick off on June 10 in Singapore.

Additionally, the Cairo World Cup will wrap up the world cup series at the end of April, though while we’ll know the rankings at that stage, the list of qualifiers won’t be available until after all of the continental championships are over.

Article by Lauren Hopkins


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