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2014 Worlds Championships News


Written by dwight normile    Saturday, 04 October 2014 12:29    PDF Print
10 Thoughts From Men's Qualifications
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

1) It is not surprising that first-ranked China leads Japan by just more than a point, but how they did it is. With a squad comprised mainly of compact tumbler-types, the host team sacrificed its historical edge on pommel horse and ended up winning vault, parallel bars (no shock there) and high bar. China was sixth on pommels, with no score in the 15's. This team is beatable, however, showing plenty of hops and form breaks.

2) Top-ranked Kohei Uchimura had a pretty good day, even by his standards. With scores ranging from 15.166 on pommels to 15.800 on floor, he was the only all-arounder to exceed 15.00 on every apparatus.

3) Speaking of the all-around, pre-meet predictions figured British champion Max Whitlock could make some noise. But a rough outing left him third man on a deep team, behind Daniel Purvis and 2014 European junior champ Nile Wilson. Whitlock probably has the highest scoring potential among the three, but Wilson, in particular, looks like he could be a factor in Rio. He already works with a mature style and tight body. Reminds me a little of a young Ivan Ivankov.

4) The addition of Donnell Whittenburg improved the U.S. men's chances immensely. He qualified fourth for the all-around and also threw a Ri Se Gwang vault for his second attempt. It's higher than Ri's, but he's not consistent enough in landing it. Vitaly Marinich must be having a blast coaching this kid at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

5) Sam Mikulak went three for six in prelims, which is better than going three for six in the all-around final. I wrote him off after day one of the P&G Championships in Pittsburgh, and he stormed back to win the meet, which proves that he's still a factor and that I have a lot to learn. Glad to see him vault his Kasamatsu-double twist again, but he doesn't look comfortable with his new p-bar routine. His Takemoto on high bar also continues to be an issue.

6) Fifth-ranked Russia is bit top heavy in talent, with veteran all-arounders David Belyavsky and Nikolai Kuksenkov, along with super specialist Denis Ablyazin. Look for this team to benefit from the 3-up-3-count Team Finals format, however. But only if it can survive pommels.

7) Good to see the creative David Belyavsky hit well for an impressive 90.748, the second-best total behind Kohei Uchimura's 92.165. Uchimura, who is going for his fifth straight world title, has to know he can't fall more than once and win.

8) Also good to see Colombia's Jossimar Calvo get into the all-around final, even if it's in the 21st slot. His prelim ranking was only 27, but he's got potential, as does fellow South American Sergio Sasaki (Brazil).

9) With all the turmoil in Ukraine since the Sochi Olympics, combined with the departure of Oleg Stepko to Azerbaijan, the men's team just missed the Team Final. Switzerland grabbed the eighth and final berth, which is not a surprise at all. The Swiss have been on that bubble for several years.

10) The Nanning Worlds qualified the top 24 teams to the 2015 Glasgow Worlds, which means 24th-ranked Chinese Taipei's hopes are still alive. Turkey finished 25th, which, of course, is better than last-place Croatia (48th).

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 03 October 2014 05:45    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 5
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Day one of competition draws to a close Friday with the fifth subdivision of men's qualification at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China.

The Olympic champion Chinese team currently leads the qualification after an outstanding performance in the third session. Deng Shudi and Cheng Ran are currently 1-2 in the individual all-around qualification.


Max Whitlock (Great Britain)

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Portugal: Floor Exercise

Portugal was 20th at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo and 18th at this year's European championships. The team's top gymnast is Gustavo Simões, whose best event is pommel horse.

Great Britain: Pommel Horse

Great Britain starts off on what has become its flagship event: pommel horse. Even without Louis Smith, the team has two potential finalists in European champions Dan Keatings and Max Whitlock. Whitlock, a contender for a medal in the all-around, will compete alongside his 2012 Olympic bronze medal teammates, Dan Purvis and Kristian Thomas.

Olympian Sam Oldham is out after an injury, but newcomers Frank Baines (who won five gold medals at the Junior Europeans in May) and Courtney Tulloch could help Great Britain win its first team world medal. Rings is the team's only weak event.

Mixed Group 1: Still Rings

Mixed Group 1 includes gymnasts from Ecuador and South Africa. (Saudia Arabia was also in this group but chose not to send any gymnasts.) American Ryan Patterson, who holds dual citizenship and competes for the University of California-Berkeley, will make his world championships debut for South Africa.

Colombia: Vault

Rising star Jossimar Calvo leads the Colombian team, which also includes 2008 Olympian Jorge Hugo Giraldo. Calvo will challenge for a strong showing in the all-around, and he can make finals on parallel bars and high bar. Calvo, a high bar finalist at the 2013 Worlds, is gunning for Colombia's first world championship medal.

Poland: Parallel Bars

Poland, 27th in 2010, failed to make the cut to advance a full team to the 2011 Worlds. The team will count on several veterans, including Roman Kulesza and Adam Kierzkowski. Kulesza's wife, Marta Pihan-Kulesza, competes for the Polish women's team.

Ireland: High Bar

Ireland is fielding possibly its strongest team ever. Olympian Kieran Behan leads the squad strong lineup on floor exercise, which includes English native Andrew Smith and Irish-American Rohan Sebastian. The trio each won gold medals at the recent Northern European championships.

Next Up: Competition continues Saturday with day two of men's qualification!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 03 October 2014 02:51    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 4
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Competition continues Friday evening at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. The Olympic champion Chinese team currently leads the qualification after an outstanding performance in the afternoon session. Deng Shudi and Cheng Ran are currently 1-2 in the individual all-around qualification.


Yang Hak Seon (Korea)

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Spain: Floor Exercise

Spain qualified a full team to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but many of the top gymnasts called it quits after a well-publicized fallout with the Spanish Gymnastics Federation over funding and support. In May, Spain finished only 13th at the European championships in Sofia. 2008 Olympic vault finalist Isaac Botella, 30, is the team veteran. Ruben Lopez won the Spanish national championships this year, with Botella finishing third.

Canada: Pommel Horse

Canada finished 12th at the 2011 Worlds but missed qualification to the 2012 Olympic Games by less than a point. The team finished only fifth at the recent Pan American Championships in Ontario, and drew an unlucky draw by having to start off on pommel horse.

Korea: Still Rings

2012 Olympic vault champion Yang Hak Seon has earned his status as a Korean sporting legend and is looking for a third consecutive world vaulting title in Nanning. He settled for silver at the Asian Games final recently in Incheon, where he emotionally apologized for failing to win the gold medal at home. Suffering from a sore hamstring, he was unable to compete his triple-twisting handspring layout front. He submitted a Tsukahara 3 1/2 to the FIG Men's Technical Committee for review in Nanning, but he may not be able to perform it.

Slovenia: Vault

Slovenia was unable to send a full team to Slovenia after injuries to many of the team members. Veteran parallel bars specialist Mitja Petkovšek is one of the injured staying behind, leaving Slovenia's hopes on Sašo Bertoncelj. Bertoncelj, third on pommel horse at this year's European championships, is looking for another world championships final on his specialty.

Chile: Parallel Bars

2012 Olympian Tomas Gonzalez already made history for Chile by qualifying to the floor exercise and vault finals at the Olympics in London. The decorated champion is still looking to put his name in the record books by becoming the first Chilean to win a world championships medal in gymnastics.

Uzbekistan: High Bar

Uzbekistan is one of many teams that traveled to Nanning straight from the Asian Games in Incheon, and its gymnasts are either freshly warmed up... or exhausted. The team picked up two silver medals in Incheon from Abdulla Azimov (pommel horse) and Anton Fokin (parallel bars). Fokin, a world and Olympic medalist, will need to be near perfect to make another world final.

Next Up: Teams from Colombia, Great Britain, Ireland, Poland and Portugal in the fifth and final session of the day!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 03 October 2014 00:22    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 3
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Competition continues Friday morning at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. The Olympic champion Chinese men take the floor in pursuit of their seventh consecutive world title.


Lin Chaopan (China)

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Netherlands: Floor Exercise

World and Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderlandheadlines the Dutch men's squad, 19th at the 2011 Worlds. Veteran Jeffrey Wammes returns to the lineup, but former still rings world champion Yuri van Gelder did not make the lineup. The team finished sixth at this year's European championships in Sofia, marking Netherlands first appearance in a major team final. In addition to high bar, Zonderland has a shot at making the finals on parallel bars with his unique pirouetting skills.

Puerto Rico: Pommel Horse

Puerto Rico finished 14th at the 2011 Worlds after a best-ever 12th place at the 2010 Worlds. The squad finished fourth at the recent Pan American Championships in Canada, where Luis Rivera finished sixth all-around. Alexander Rodriguez took the bronze medal on pommel horse, which along with rings is Puerto Rico's strongest event.

Croatia: Still Rings

Croatia, 31st at the 2010 Worlds, begins on rings and thus finishes on its strongest event, pommel horse. Robert Seligman and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude are both contenders for a shot in the pommel horse final.

North Korea: Parallel Bars

North Korea is fresh off the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, where the team finished fourth after a weak showing on pommel horse. North Korea begins on its best event, however; the country had the highest parallel bars total of any team in Incheon. Kim Jin Hyok has a shot at making the finals on that event.

Ri Se Gwang remains North Korea's biggest star, though he is still on the hunt for his first world championship medal. Ri invented two of the most difficult vaults ever done – a piked Dragulescu and full-twisting Tsukahara double back – but he will need to put both to his feet. He finished in fourth in Incheon, where he limped away after crashing his piked Dragulescu.

China: High Bar

China, the most dominant team in men's gymnastics, will accept nothing less than gold in Nanning. This team lacks any major stars, though Lin Chaopan (parallel bars) and Zhang Chenlong (high bar) are both individual world champions. The Chinese gymnasts may take it easy in qualification to peak for the team final, a strategy that won them gold at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Next Up: Teams from Canada, Chile, Korea, Spain and Uzbekistan in session four!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 02 October 2014 20:38    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Men's Qualification, Session 2
(2 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)

Competition continues Friday morning at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. The Brazilian men take the floor in the second session of qualification at the Guangxi Sports Center, where they begin their attempt to qualify a full team to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus final (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.


Sergio Sasaki (Brazil)

Angola: Floor Exercise

Angola, in southwestern Africa, is a newcomer on the international scene in artistic gymnastics. Two gymnasts from Angola will share the floor with Brazil, another former Portuguese colony that is now a powerhouse in the sport. Angola had success this summer with its first World Cup gold medal from rhythmic gymnast Ana Panzo, who trains in Russia.

Belarus: Pommel Horse

Belarus, the 2001 world champions, will try to improve on its disappointing 16th place at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo. Former Russian team members Dmitry Barkalov and Andrei Likhovitsky lead the team, while veteran Alexander Tsarevich is a multiple World Cup medalist on parallel bars and high bar.

Singapore: Still Rings

Singapore is competing with four gymnasts, the minimum needed for a full team. Gan Zi Jie Gabriel is the tiny nation's top gymnast, finishing 18th all-around at the recent Asian Games in Incheon. His strongest event is on pommel horse, where he was a finalist at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 (fourth) and 2014 (sixth).

Brazil: Vault

Brazil launches its bid for 2016 on vault, one of its best events. The team boasts three Olympians in Diego Hypolito, Sergio Sasaki, and national hero Arthur Zanetti. All-arounder Sasaki has a chance to make several finals, including vault, while former world champion Hypolito will fight for a spot in the floor final. Zanetti, the reigning world and Olympic champion on still rings, is a lock for the rings final barring disaster.

Ukraine: Parallel Bars

Superstar Oleg Vernyayev leads Ukraine, which finished a frustrated fourth at the 2012 Olympics. The team has since lost Nikolai Kuksenkov to Russia and Oleg Stepko to Azerbaijan, but Vernyayev and Igor Radivilov are medal contenders. Vernyayev is one of the only gymnasts with the potential to challenge Kohei Uchimura in the all-around, and he has medal potential on vault and parallel bars. Radivilov won the bronze medal on vault in London and tied for the gold on still rings at the 2013 European Championships.

Iceland: High Bar

Iceland sent only one male gymnast, Valgard Reinhardsson, who will compete alone in his rotation. Reinhardsson trains in Halifax, Nova Scotia, alongside Canadian women's team member Ellie Black. Reinhardsson, who turns 18 on Wednesday, begins on his best event, high bar.

Next Up: Reigning world and Olympic champion China takes the floor at home, along with full teams from Croatia, Netherlands, North Korea and Puerto Rico!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 


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