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China, Japan and Ukraine dominate Cottbus World Cup
(3 votes, average 3.67 out of 5)

China won four of the titles, while Japan and Ukraine each won three events at the 44th edition of the Cottbus World Cup held November 21-24 in Cottbus, Germany. The competition was also the fifth of eight editions of the individual World Cup Series, which serve as an additional method of qualifying to next year’s Olympic Games for individual specialists who have not yet qualified through the World Championships in 2018 and 2019.

On day one of event finals the Chinese Yu Linmin took the women’s vault title with well-executed Cheng (Yurchenko-half-on-Rudi-off) and a Tsukahara double twist posting an average of 14.649. Teja Belak from Slovenia took the silver with a (14.216), just ahead of Cuba’s Yesenia Ferrera who won the bronze (14.199). Two-time world champion Maria Paseka (Russia) failed to land her second vault (Cheng) and placed sixth.

On uneven bars two-time world champion Fan Yilin (China) posted 14.8/6.4 (inside stalder to Komova II to Pak to stalder Shaposhnikova to Gienger, Healy to Ling to half in back off dismount) to capture the title, which was her third consecutive gold medal in the World Cup series. With her third win on the event Fan earns the maximum 90 points total in the series, which almost certainly guarantees her a qualification to the Tokyo Olympics. Anastasiia Agafonova (Russia) took the silver with 14.733/6.4, while Fan’s teammate Yin Sisi earned the bronze with a 14.566/6.1.

The new tumbling sensation from Japan, Kazuki Minami, easily won the men’s floor title posting 15.1/6.6 for his notable routine: (triple twisting double tuck, front triple twist, stuck 3 ½ to front full and 1 ½ to Randi, 2 ½ to front double full and triple twist dismount). And with the three remaining individual World Cup events in 2020 Minami certainly becomes a factor in the Olympic floor qualification race. Current leader in the series, Rayderley Zapata (Spain), took the silver posting 14.8/6.5 (1 ½ twisting double front, front double pike half out, 1 ½ to front double pike and front double tuck half out). Britain’s Hayden Skinner took the bronze with a 14.533/6.5.

On pommel horse Weng Hao from China won his third World Cup gold medal of the series with a 15.0/6.6 (two scissors to handstand, two on one 1080, triple Russian between the pommels and triple Russian at the end, Wu, Magyar, Sivado). With the win Weng also secures the maximum 90 points on the event in the pommel horse World Cup qualification race. Japan’s Kaito Imabayashi took the silver with 14.966/6.7, while Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev earned the bronze posting 14.866/6.6. U.S. hopeful Stephen Nedoroscik had a fall after his Wu and paced 8th.

In the rings final China captured their fourth gold of the day when Liu Yang produced mesmerizing level of strength to post 15.133/6.4, despite a fairly short landing on his double twisting double tuck dismount. With the win Liu is the leading candidate to earn the qualification spot on the event as he has now won three events out of three attempts. Taking a very low landing on his tuck double-double dismount Eleftherios Petrounias from Greece earned the silver on the event with 14.888/6.3, while Artur Avetisyan from Armenia took home the bronze posting 14.833/5.9 for his clean routine.

In the second day of the event finals Ukraine captured three of the five titles. Igor Radivilov (Ukraine) took the men’s vault title with a strong Dragulescu and a Tsukahara double pike, which received 14.849. Audrys Nin Reyes (Dominican Republic) earned the silver competing Ri (full twisting double tuck Tsukahara) and a Dragulescu 14.749. The bronze went to Belarus’ Yahor Sharamkou who earned 14.749 for his Kasamatsu 1 ½ twist and a stuck Dragulescu.

Oleg Verniaiev toped the field on parallel bars with a 15.4/6.7, a score that matched China’s You Hao 15.4/6.9, but the Ukrainian took the gold due to the higher execution score. Russia’s Vladislav Poliashov earned the bronze with a well-executed routine receiving 15.366/6.5.

Ukraine’s third gold medal of the day was on women’s floor exercise where Anastasiia Bachynska posted 13.533/5.1 for a routine with strong tumbling (full in, double Arabian, double pike, double tuck), beautiful choreography and superb execution on the dance elements. The home crowd was pleased to see German veteran Kim Bui take the silver with a 13.5/5.1, while Lara Mori from Italy earned the bronze with a 13.4/5.6.

Japan took the remaining two titles on the second day of event finals. Urara Ashikawa topped the field on beam with a 13.7/5.5 (ff-layout step out, ring jump, side aerial, split half sideways, switch leap to sheep jump, side somie, double turn, triple twist dismount). With a solid routine Diana Varinska from Ukraine took the silver posting 13.533/5.4, while top qualifier Li Qi from China earned the bronze after a large wobble on her round off layout to two feet 13.4/5.8.

Hidetaka Miyachi won the high bar title in a spectacular fashion performing superbly his Miyachi (double twisting layout Kovacs), Bretschneider (double twisting Kovacs), Cassina and Kolman and sticking his full twisting double layout dismount to post 14.933/6.4 for the gold. Ilias Georgiou from Cyprus edged Russia’s Alexey Rostov on a tiebreaker to earn the silver with a 14.166/5.6 (Rostov’s d-score 6.3). With the win Miyachi will surpass Epke Zonderland in the World Cup high bar rankings. The Dutch was originally scheduled to compete in Cottbus, but was not present at the competition. For full results of the competition on the host website of the event click here. The remaining three World Cup events which are part of the series are in Melbourne (Australia), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Doha (Qatar) in February and March of 2020. For current (unofficial) World Cup rankings (excluding the results from Cottbus) on each event click here.

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