The final world cup event of the season wrapped up over the weekend in Cairo, where newcomers and veterans battled for titles on each apparatus, as well as for the prize money that comes from both this particular meet as well as from winning the four-part series overall. More importantly, the series coming to an end means the rankings that will determine the specialists who qualify to worlds have been finalized.
This weekend, young American standout Joscelyn Roberson stunned in one of her first major international events to take the gold medals on vault and floor in addition to the silver on beam, while Italian Olympian Alice D’Amato repeated a brilliant performance on bars to earn the title just two weeks after winning gold at Euros. D’Amato’s bars win coupled with her second-place finish on floor catapulted her to the top of the series rankings on both of these events, and her teammate Giorgia Villa won her second gold medal on beam in a row to capture the series title on that event. Though Oksana Chusovitina finished at the bottom of the vault rankings in Saturday’s final, her silver medal from Baku and a pair of bronze medals from Cottbus and Doha were more than enough to keep her at the top of the rankings, making her safe for a bid to worlds.
In the men’s competition, Illia Kovtun of Ukraine walked home with three wins – on floor, parallel bars, and high bar – while also earning the series titles on the latter two (he lost out on the overall floor win in a tie-break with champion Milad Karimi of Kazakhstan); Lee Chih-Kai of Taiwan came out on top in a super talented pommel horse field while Nariman Kurbanov of Kazakhstan was the overall winner; Nikita Simonov of Azerbaijan won his second straight rings title to notch the series win; and reigning world and European vault champion Artur Davtyan of Armenia got his third win of the season on that event to take the gold as well as the overall series title with a perfect 90 points.
If you’re like us, you’re excited about this weekend’s action, but you’re also dying to know what all of this ranking stuff means for world championships. While we won’t know who will actually get invites to Antwerp until each continental championship meet has taken place, the outcome is slightly predictable based on who we know has qualified via last year’s team finals at worlds and this year at Euros, as well as who is likely to qualify at the continental meets in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Without further ado, here’s what we expect to see for each apparatus in the WAG and MAG fields. Don’t forget to check out our WAG rankings and MAG rankings so you can follow along!
Right now, taking into account athletes who have qualified to worlds through Euros, we’re already digging down to 15th place to find the top eight who remain eligible to qualify as specialists. Led by Chusovitina, this list includes a number of athletes who are expected to qualify either as part of teams or as individual all-arounders, so I have a feeling when all is said and done we’ll end up reaching all the way down in the low 30s – out of 44 athletes who are ranked – to get to our top eligible eight.
Chusovitina is an interesting case. She’s competed all four events so far this year at various stages, leading me to believe she’s hoping to perform in the all-around at Asian Championships in order to secure an all-around berth for worlds so she can then hopefully lock down an Olympic spot this October instead of through next year’s world cup season. A reminder that athletes who qualify to worlds as specialists can only compete the events on which they qualify, so if Chusovitina misses qualifying as an all-arounder to worlds, her only hope would be getting an elusive specialist spot by finishing high enough in the vault rankings at worlds, or a world cup spot next season. She’s on my “maybe” list for a specialist spot depending on how she looks in Singapore this June.
Otherwise, the vaulters on the list who will likely qualify to worlds as specialists are Darya Yassinskaya of Kazakhstan (5th place), Agata Vostruchovaite of Lithuania (10th place), Nazanin Teymurova of Azerbaijan (16th place), Bilge Tarhan of Türkiye (18th place), Julie Erichsen of Norway (25th place), Katrina Jurevica of Latvia (26th place). There are a few question marks, like Hillary Heron of Panama, who won bronze on vault this weekend – she’s a great all-arounder with potential to get in at Pan Ams, but last year she had a rough competition and missed out on worlds by a few tenths, so it’s great that she has this as a back-up this year in case that happens again.
The top eligible qualifier on this event is Ukraine’s Yelizaveta Hubareva, who has done some incredible work on this apparatus throughout the course of this series, making three finals to finish fifth in Cottbus, fourth in Doha, and fourth in Cairo. Ranked second with a total of 52 points – just eight points back from the leader, D’Amato, who has already qualified to worlds with her team – Hubareva is guaranteed a spot in Antwerp on this apparatus. Having not competed on floor at Euros, she was unable to qualify as an all-arounder, so it’s great to see her make it in some capacity.
Also certain to qualify this way are Erichsen (16th place) in addition to qualifying on vault (like Hubareva, she also didn’t compete in the all-around at Euros so this is her one way in), Zarith Imaan Khalid of Malaysia (33rd place), and Magdalini Tsiori of Greece (38th place). A few others have potential to qualify as all-arounders at upcoming continental meets, but this is definitely an apparatus where we may not end up with eight eligible athletes.
As with uneven bars, this field is largely dominated by gymnasts who won’t need this competition to qualify to worlds. Right now, the top two eligible gymnasts are Ting Hua-Tien of Taiwan in sixth place with 30 points and Jana Abdelsalam of Egypt in seventh place with 28 points, but with Ting a strong all-arounder with potential to qualify at Asian Championships and with Egypt’s strong shot at qualifying as a team at African Championships, it’s possible neither will need to get in here.
Aida Bauyrzhanova of Kazakhstan is next in line, ranked 11th with 22 points. She qualified to worlds as an all-arounder last year, but ranked on three events right now, she’ll have some great backup potential as a specialist. Otherwise, Hubareva (21st place) is pretty much a guarantee again here as well, as are Marie Rønbeck of Norway (24th place), Marta Pihan-Kulesza of Poland (25th place), Teymurova (26th place), and true specialist Angel Wong Hiu Ying of Hong Kong (33rd place).
WOMEN’S FLOOR EXERCISE
Teymurova, who missed out on qualifying as an all-arounder at Euros by just a couple of spots and is one of the reserves, is the top-ranked likely qualifier on floor, sitting in third place with 32 points. There’s a chance she could still get in through the all-around should any athletes who made it end up withdrawing for whatever reason, but if that doesn’t happen, she’ll have spots on vault, beam, and floor waiting for her.
Others who will be looking to get in on floor include Elvira Katsali of Greece (27th place), Rønbeck (48th place), and Yassinskaya (53rd place, aka last on the list), but again, there are a number of athletes who could go either way between all-around or specialist spots depending on how they compete at continental meets, including Bauyrzhanova, Heron, Rifda Irfanaluthfi of Indonesia, and Dildora Aripova of Uzbekistan (both Irfanaluthfi and Aripova are actually ranked on all four events, though I’d consider them among the top Asian all-arounders and don’t foresee them needing this series to make it in).
MEN’S FLOOR EXERCISE
Overall, the men’s fields have a lot more depth in terms of bringing specialists to worlds. Though floor leader Karimi is likely to qualify as an all-arounder next month (or with his team if Kazakhstan is looking as good as they’re capable of), there are a couple of guys in the top 10 who should make it in on this event, including Aurel Benovic of Croatia (3rd place) and Eamon Montgomery of Ireland (5th place), while outside the top 10, we’re also expecting to see guys like Dominick Cunningham of Ireland (18th place), Filip Lidbeck of Sweden (22nd place), Kim Wanström of Sweden (23rd place), Neofytos Kyriakou of Cyprus (29th place), and Guilherme Campos of Portugal (31st place) as most likely to get spots.
With so many incredible pommel horse specialists in the world, this was an incredibly crowded field meet after meet, and it really shows in the rankings. Top-ranked Kurbanov is looking to secure a spot this way – again, unless Kazakhstan can qualify a full team, which they came very close to doing last year – while other top-ranked athletes who should qualify include Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland (2nd place), Matvei Petrov of Albania (7th place), and world medalist Harutyun Merdinyan of Armenia (9th place).
Taiwan also has two in the top 10 – Lee Chih-Kai and Shiao Yu-Jan – though I am expecting this program to qualify a full team, while Abdulla Azimov of Uzbekistan (8th place) and Utkirbek Juraev (17th place) could go either way, as their program qualified a full team last year and they’re also both strong all-arounders. On the bubble are Dmitrijs Mickevics of Latvia (18th place), Radomir Sliz of Czechia (19th place), Ahmad Abu Al Soud of Jordan (20th place), and Filip Ude of Croatia (22nd place).
Another big apparatus for specialists, this group will have the top four represented at worlds, including series winner Simonov, followed by Mahdi Ahmad Kohani of Iran (2nd place), Artur Avetisyan of Armenia (3rd place), and Vinzenz Höck of Austria (4th place), while other top 10 definites are looking like Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece (6th place), Vahagn Davtyan of Armenia (9th place), and Nguyen Van Khanh Phong of Vietnam (10th place). That’s seven guys right there, and then Sokratis Pilakouris of Cyprus sits just outside of that group in 11th, so I think we can pretty confidently say that these will be the eight qualifying to worlds on this event! An easy one?!
Vault leader Artur Davtyan of Armenia has already qualified to worlds as an all-arounder, but this is another field where things are looking pretty straight forward. Right now the top guys expected to earn spots in Antwerp on this apparatus include Shek Wai Hung of Hong Kong (2nd place), Mahdi Olfati of Iran (4th place – he was sadly injured in Baku, but hopefully will have had enough time to recover), Ondrej Kalny of Czechia (6th place), Dominick Cunningham of Ireland (9th place), and Aurel Benovic of Croatia (10th place), while Tseng Wei-Sheng of Taiwan could be a maybe depending on how the Taiwanese team fares.
Others who are on the bubble right now are Trinh Hai Khang of Vietnam (14th place), Juancho Besana of the Philippines (22nd place), and Audrys Nin Reyes of the Dominican Republic (24th place), while there are a few just outside of this group set to step in.
This apparatus is one of those where the rankings are almost entirely populated by strong all-arounders or members of qualifying teams. I think the highest on the list who could potentially get in this way is Dilan Jimenez of Colombia (7th place), but given that Colombia qualified a full team to worlds last year, we may have to dig much deeper, all the way down to the 20s! There’s Rasuljon Abdurakhimov of Uzbekistan in 20th place who can qualify this way if his country doesn’t end up getting a team in, and then Isaac Nuñez of Mexico in 21st, though he’s a strong all-around contender if his country doesn’t make it as a team.
With almost everyone else on the list likely going to be ineligible, the biggest benefactor here could be Ahmed Riadh Aliouat of Algeria, who is in 33rd place, and then there’s David Rumbutis of Sweden in 40th place, who missed out on competing at Euros to earn an all-around spot. But overall, this is going to be an apparatus where it could be difficult to find eight guys who are eligible.
The top eligible contender for a high bar spot is fourth-best Tin Srbic of Croatia, who recently took the title on this apparatus at Euros. After him, we’re going all the way down to 24th for the next-likely, Ivan Dejanovic of Serbia, followed by Marios Georgiou of Cyprus (27th place), his teammate Neofytos Kyriakou (29th place), Karl Idesjö of Sweden (36th place), and Mohammadreza Hamidi of Iran (38th place), with a few outliers ranked in the 40s who may also benefit from a lack of high bar specialist depth.
Article by Lauren Hopkins
5 thoughts on “Cairo Determines World Cup Series Champions, Rankings – What Does This Mean for Worlds?”
Thank you for clearing things up!! Amy chance Greek Vasiliki can make it to world champions? Thank you
She only attended one world cup and is unranked, but perhaps if there aren’t enough eligible athletes for there to be a top 8 on that event, they’ll redistribute points and she will end up ranked and able to go? Otherwise she hasn’t qualified.
I love qualifying athletes to Worlds via the World Cup, but 8 on each apparatus is far too many. I would go with top 4 on each apparatus. Otherwise getting a gymnast ranked 38th or 41st going to Worlds means an athlete getting 10.200s on one event sends them to Worlds.
Or if they want to continue top 8, make a minimum average score per apparatus as well as a minimum number of total points earned.
You have athletes that might go to Worlds and they have only done one meet out of the four and didn’t even make finals, but got the participation points. In the case of Daria Yassinskaya of Kazakstan, she has literally 1 point on floor exercise from Doha. She got an 11.133 there.
If FIG wants to set standards of qualification by using continentals as a trial for Worlds, then the World Cup also needs a minimum standard IMO.
Agreed, I wrote about this on twitter yesterday, and think that for WAG it should be cut to 4 maximum (with the rest of the 16 spots going into the AA pool at various continental championships) and for MAG since it fluctuates per event (e.g. rings with ALL specialists and p-bars with basically none), keep it at 8 but have a minimum score requirement.
Nazanin Teymurova missed qualifying to worlds as an all-arounder by four ranked spots at Euros. However, she is likely to qualify on vault, beam, and floor via the world cups, none of which she is a true specialist on. As an all-arounder at worlds she’d have a chance at qualifying to the Olympics, but as a three-event “specialist” she has none. It makes no sense…aside from Chusovitina, the only “specialists” qualifying to worlds via world cups for WAG are just lower level all-arounders who didn’t make the cut at continental championships and who can get in this way as a back-up.
Honestly they should just take the specialist spots directly from continental championships, or a combination of continental championships + world cups, either/or. Eleftherios Petrounias won the rings title at Euros last year but couldn’t go to worlds because he was recovering from an injury during the world cups. Truly a ludicrous system.