The most prestigious international elite gymnastics competition hosted on American soil, the American Cup, returns this Saturday in Greensboro, North Carolina. The roster is absolutely stacked, with the US sending two strong competitors in reigning World team gold medalist Grace McCallum and reigning junior national champion Leanne Wong, Japan sending their star World all-around silver medalist Mai Murakami, Canada sending Ellie Black, and many other big names in the gymnastics world headlining the field.
McCallum is one of the favorites to win the meet and keep Team USA’s winning streak alive, as the 16 year old was a member of the 2018 US gold medal-winning World Championship team that dominated competition in Doha last fall. McCallum excels on vault and floor but also is looking to debut new connections on both bars and beam, so keep your eye out for this second-year senior to be fighting for the title.
The other competitor from the USA, Leanne Wong, will be making her senior debut and is looking to make a big splash. Wong trains at GAGE, one of the top gyms in the country, and is the reigning junior national champion and is known for her impeccable lines and gorgeous work on all four events, with balance beam as her standout. Wong also has a big Yurchenko double full, with the potential to upgrade to an Amanar, and also has superb execution across all-four events.
Another major title contender is reigning world all-around silver medalist Murakami, who has huge difficulty and will especially look to impress on floor, where she is the 2017 world champion. Ellie Black is a two-time Olympian and the 2017 World all-around silver medalist, and she should also be a contender to fight for the podium. Look for a huge vault from Ellie, as vault is typically her strongest event.
Although McCallum, Wong, Murakami, and Black will be looked at as the favorites for the podium, Germany’s Kim Bui, a standout on the uneven bars, is a two-time Olympian in her own right and will be looking to start off her 2019 season well, as will La Yufei of China, Celia Serber of France, and Lee Yunseo of Korea.
The American Cup is always an exciting competition, as some of the best gymnasts in the world make their season debut and the fans get to see all of their new routines and upgrades for the first time. With the field as tightly packed as it is this year and there being no clear favorite, it is sure to be an incredibly exciting competition on Saturday.Tags: 2019 American Cup, American Cup, Celia Serber, elite, elite gymnastics, Ellie Black, FIG, Grace McCallum, Kim Bui, La Yufei, Leanne Wong, Lee Yunseo, Mai Murakami, women's gymnastics