This weekend in Melbourne, Australia, gymnasts will get their second opportunity to qualify as individuals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as the gymnasts with the highest point totals on each event at the end of the FIG Apparatus World Cup series will qualify for the Olympics. The Melbourne World Cup is the second in this series and will feature World and Olympic medalists as well as up-and-coming talent.

Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina will be making a run for her eighth Olympics and plans on competing three events. If she qualifies, she will be breaking her own record as the oldest female Olympic gymnast. Known for her powerful vaults, Chusovitina will be looking to win the vault title in Melbourne but will face some tough competition. She will also be competing on bars and beam, which have only recently been added into her program. Yeo Seo-Jeong of South Korea will be battling with Chusovitina for the vault title. Yeo is also a strong all-arounder, but may not be exceptional enough on her other events to win the apparatus cup title. World vault bronze medalist Alexa Moreno will also be one to watch as she beings her Olympic journey.

Competition for the uneven bars title will also be fierce, with 2017 world uneven bars champion Fan Yilin of China competing as well as Jonna Adlerteg of Sweden, who won silver on the uneven bars at European Championships. A fall at the previous world cup kept Fan’s ranking low, and she will be looking to improve her ranking. With beautiful lines and a high start value, Fan should easily bump her ranking by a few points after this meet. Lyu Jiaqi of China will also be in the mix for the bars title as she is currently ranked third.

 

Fan Yilin celebrates after winning a gold medal on the uneven bars at the 2017 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Montreal Photo: Canada/Zimbio

2006 world all-around champion Vanessa Ferrari will return to competition after recovering from a ruptured Achilles. She plans to compete on beam and floor, historically her two strongest events. Ferrari’s powerful tumbling makes her a top contender for the title in Melbourne. Though Ferrari can be inconsistent on beam, she is a strong performer when she hits, and will be one to watch in Melbourne.

Vanessa Ferrari performs on the floor exercise at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Photo: Brazil/Gimnastica Italia

The Melbourne Apparatus World Cup will take place from February 23 – 24, 2019. Some of these gymnasts will also be competing at the Baku Apparatus World Cup the weekend of March 16, continuing their Olympic journey.

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