The FIG Apparatus World Cup Series continues this weekend in Doha, where many competitors from Baku will be competing again, hoping to move up the ranks at the Doha World Cup. Jade Carey of the US will be looking to earn more points on vault and floor after finishing first on both events in Baku last weekend. The battle for the uneven bars podium will be fierce, with world champions Nina Derwael of Belgium and China‘s Fan Yilin competing. On vault, Uzbekistan‘s Oksana Chusovitina and Maria Paseka of Russia will challenge for medals, while Chinese gymnasts Li Qi and Zhao Shiting will be in the mix for bars and beam.
Carey is currently third in the vault rankings after a strong performance in Baku, where she unveiled her Cheng vault, increasing her start value. Combined with a powerful Yurchenko double full, Carey is a medal favorite at this event. Chusovitina is ranked first and is coming off two second-place finishes. She has begun performing at her full level of difficulty and looks as strong as ever. Returning from back surgery just last year, Paseka can vault both an Amanar and a Cheng, giving her the highest start value in the field. 2018 World medalist Alexa Moreno of Mexico, currently ranked second, will also be looking to get on the podium after finishing third in Baku last week.
With two World champions and a European champion competing on the uneven bars, earning points toward Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification is no small task. Derwael, the 2018 World champion on the bars, will want to improve her seventh-place ranking. As this is only her second appearance at an Apparatus World Cup, a good performance in Doha should put her in the top three. Fan Yilin will want to maintain or improve her second-place ranking. Her intricate bar routine makes her a top medal contender, as long as she hits with good form. Anastasia Iliankova of Russia, who placed second in Baku last week, will also be trying to earn more points with her classic Russian lines and big releases.
Li Qi, a relative newcomer on the Chinese team, is expected to be a top contender for a medal on the balance beam. This will be her first appearance at an Apparatus World Cup this year, so expect her performance to shake up the rankings a bit. Teammate Zhao Shiting, currently ranked fourth, will hope to improve her ranking with a strong performance in Doha. With a first- or second-place finish, Zhao could move up to first place in the rankings. Marine Boyer of France could also make a run for first place this week, as she is currently ranked third and could move up to first with a podium finish in Doha.
The competition for a podium finish on floor will be a rematch between the three medalists in Baku. Carey will hope to repeat her first-place finish and hold off the Italians Vanessa Ferrari and Lara Mori. A gold medal on floor for Carey would push Ferrari out of first place in the overall rankings. Ferrari will need to win the event in Doha to maintain her first-place ranking. Teammate Mori of Italy is also in the mix for a first-place ranking, which she could earn with a gold medal in Doha. All three gymnasts have clean, powerful tumbling, and the victor this weekend will depend on who has the cleanest execution and landings.Tags: 2019 Doha World Cup, Alexa Moreno, Anastasia Iliankova, Belgium, China, Doha World Cup, elite, elite gymnastics, Fan Yilin, FIG, France, Italy, Jade Carey, Lara Mori, Li Qi, Maria Paseka, Marine Boyer, Mexico, Nina Derwael, Oksana Chusovitina, Russia, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, US, Uzbekistan, Vanessa Ferrari, women's gymnastics, Zhao Shiting