Tin Srbic topped the Horizontal Bar qualifications at the Artistic Gymnastics Individual Apparatus World Cup at the Aspire Dome yesterday, but the Croat knew it wouldn’t be easier for him in the final.
For the difference between the 2017 world champion Srbic and Italian Carlo Macchini, who qualified eighth and last for tomorrow’s final, was a mere 0.333 points. Such was the quality of competition on display on Horizontal Bar, that any of the top eight could have topped the qualifying.
“It is fascinating that from 1st to 8th place the difference of score was just 0.333. So the final will be even more difficult,” said a beaming Srbic, after tallying a score of 14.333.
The 22-year-old, however, was confident he will be standing on top of the podium after the final. “I will be going all out in the final and will start with a difficulty score of 6.2. I’ve been training a lot and I am really happy I could put that to use in qualifications and come on top,” he added.
Kazakhstan’s Miada Karim (14.300) was second followed by Russia’s Alexey Rostova (14.133). Surprisingly, the reigning world champion Epke Zonderland was fourth after his routine fetched him 14.100. But the Dutchman will no doubt look to make amends in the final.
Zonderland, who won his third world title at the Doha World Championship in October, is in touching distance of qualifying for the Olympics. The 2012 London Olympic gold medallist will just need a podium finish to seal his place at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
A gymnast, if he or she wins three of the eight World Cup series, qualifies for the Olympics. And Zonderland has already won two events in Cottbus, at the end of last year and last week in Baku, and if he reigns supreme again in Doha, he would have already punched his ticket to Tokyo.
The ‘flying Dutchman’ was happy to be competing again in Doha. “It is good to be back in Doha,” Zonderland said. “I have a lot of good memories of competing in this arena not only from the World Championships, but also in World Cup events as well. The event’s organisation very well here and as an athlete you know you can perform well, when the organisation is perfect. I always look forward to coming here,” the 32-year-old said.
Zonderland, however, failed to make the final on Parallel Bars, with Zou Jingyuan topping the qualifications. The Chinese gymnast appeared very strong on the Bars as he scored 15.866 with a routine which had a difficulty score of 6.6. Vietnam’s Phuong Thanh Dinh (14.733) was second followed by Turkey’s Ferhat Arican (14.633). The race for first place on Vault is going to be intense with Ukrainian Igor Radilov (14.916) edging past Korean Hakseon Yang (14.900) to the second spot in the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Nina Derwael made it to her second final of the World Cup, as the Belgian topped the Balance Beam qualifications. Today, the 18-year-old will compete in the final of the Uneven Bars, in which she had won the world title in Doha last year. Derwael scored 13.566 on Beam ahead of France’s Marine Boyer (13.366) and China’s (13.300)
American Jade Carey also made it to her second final yesterday. After sealing a place Vault final on Day One, Carey was unbeatable on the Floor too as she tallied a score of 14.000. Carey is in good form having won gold medals in both Vault and Floor at the Baku World Cup last week.
Today, the first medals will be awarded with finals scheduled for men’s Floor, Pommel Horse and Still Rings, while women will compete on Vault and Uneven Bars.
Meanwhile, African Gymnastics Federation president Ali Zaatar was all praise for the excellent organisation by the hosts, Qatar Gymnastics Federation, and the participation of athletes from the African region.
Qatar has been hosting the event for the last 12 years and Zaatar said there is no point talking about the standards of the meet in Doha for it is obviously world class.
He was also happy that the championship provides a great chance for Arab and African gymnasts to participate and gain experience. “Even if the difference in class of performance is stark between the world stars and those aiming to match them, the common platform provides a chance to excel and learn and compete,” said Zaatar, while speaking to the media on the second day of the four-day World Cup.
“There are African countries that are interested in gymnastics such as Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa and Nigeria, but ultimately the African Federation is trying to develop gymnastics despite the hardships,” he added.
Vault: 1. Igor Radivilov (UKR) 14.916 pts; 2. Hakseon Yang (KOR) 14.900; 3. Artur Davtyan (ARM) 14.849; 4. Jorge Vega Lopez (GUA) 14.762; 5. Christopher Remkes (AUS) 14.699; 6. Marian Dragulescu (ROU) 14.616; 7. Wei-Sheng Tseng (TPE) 14.599; 8. Giarnni Regini-Moran (GBR) 14.599.
Parallel Bars: 1. Jingyuan Zou (CHN) D-Score 6.6; Total Points: 15.866; 2. Phuong Thanh Dinh (VIE) 6.2; 14.733; 3. Ferhat Arican (TUR) 6.3; 14.633; 4. Andrey Likhovitskiy (BLR) 5.5; 14.600; 5. Vladislav Poliashov (RUS) 6.3; 14.500; 6. Mitchell Morgans (AUS) 6.0; 14.333; 7. Vasili Mikhalitsyn (BLR) 5.4; 14.233; 8. Matteo Levantesi (ITA) 5.9; 14.233.
Horizontal Bar: 1. Tin Srbic (CRO) D-Score: 5.9; Total Points: 14.333; 2. Milad Karimi (KAZ) 6.2; 14.300; 3. Alexey Rostov (RUS) 6.0; 14.133; 4. Epke Zonderland (NED) 6.1; 14.100; 5. Shudi Deng (CHN) 6.3; 14.100; 6. Hidetaka Miyahi (JPN) 5.9; 14.066; 7. Randy Leru (CUB) 6.2; 14.033; 8. Carlo Macchini (ITA) 5.7; 14.000.
Balance Beam: 1. Nina Derwael (BEL) D-Score: 5.3; Total Points: 13.566; 2. Marine Boyer (FRA) 5.7; 13.366; 3. Qi Li (CHN) 5.7; 13.300; 4. Yumika Nakamura (JPN) 5.0; 12.900; 5. Hua-Tien Ting (TPE) 5.3; 12.800; 6. Adela Sajn (SLO) 4.9; 12.766; 7. Soyoka Hanawa (JPN) 5.9; 12.700; 8. Aneta Holasova (CZE) 5.1; 12.666.
Floor: 1. Jade Carey (USA) D-Score: 5.9; Total Points:14.000; 2. Marine Boyer (FRA) 5.0; 13.200; 3. Kim Bui (GER) 5.2; 13.200; 4. Lara Mori (ITA) 5.3; 13.166; 5. Varvara Zubova (RUS) 5.1; 13.066; 6. Marta Pihan-Kulesza (POL) 5.2; 13.033; 7. Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) 5.3; 13.033; 8. Coline Devillard (FRA) 4.8; 12.833.
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