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LEADING NATIONS CLEANLY THROUGH AS TEAM MEDALS BECKON

Monday 26 October 2015

Each of the world’s renowned gymnastic nations have safely navigated their way through to the Team Finals at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships after four days of intense competition involving almost 600 athletes from 87 nations.

In truth, there were few surprises during qualification, with the USA, China, Japan, Russia and, of course, Great Britain, cementing slots in both women’s and men’s finals, taking place on October Tuesday 27 & Wednesday 28, respectively. In the process, each also booked passage to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

On the second day of men’s qualification at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, only an understrength USA were able to break into the top eight at the expense of Germany, finishing qualification in a below-par fifth place. This, despite an inspired performance from London 2012 bronze medallist Danell Leyva.

Qualifying for the All-Around in fourth, Leyva masterfully delivered an event-leading display on the Horizontal Bar and was one of only two gymnasts to impact the individual leaderboard, unsurprisingly headed by Kohei Uchimura of Japan.

The other, setting up a thrilling conclusion to the men’s All-Around, was Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev. Verniaiev, a renowned all-rounder, produced a repeat of the Nanning performance that saw him crowned 2014 World Champion on Parallel Bars, to lead on that apparatus.

Along with Uchimura, chasing a sixth All-Around World title, the Ukrainian was the only man to break the 90-point barrier. However, that fact is largely academic; scores will revert back to zero when the men’s All-Around final commences on Wednesday evening.

Well aware of that fact, the 22-year-old, said: “There were a few mistakes but most importantly I managed my vault. I was very worried about Parallel Bars because I understand that I have to maintain my reputation on this apparatus and it caused me some pressure. But everything went well. However, I will have to start from zero in the final.

“I don’t want to guess anything right now. We’ll have to see on the day because in the (All-Around) Final we will both start from zero. I have a few plans for the final, but those plans also bring risks.”

The fourth day of the Championships overall also confirmed that Great Britain’s men impressively emulated their female counterparts to qualify for the team final in third place.

It was less fruitful evening for Dutch superstar Epke Zonderland, current Olympic and World champion on the High Bar. A number of minor errors resulted in a disappointingly low score of 14.3, meaning the title is destined for a new home following the Apparatus Finals on Nov 1.

Such is the ruthless nature of international gymnastics, where a single lapse of concentration is more than sufficient to dash aspirations of a lifetime.

And so, after four days of compelling qualification, the first Tuesday of the Championships will also see the first medal presentation, with the USA seemingly unstoppable in their quest for a second consecutive women’s Team World title.

Having already asserted their dominance, the star-spangled six, featuring two-time All-Around World Champion, Simone Biles, and 2012 Olympic Champion, Gabby Douglas, will be looking to reward an enthusiastic Glasgow audience with a blistering performance.

For ticket enquires regarding the Women’s Team Final on Tuesday 27 October, visit our website.

Final Men’s Team Qualification Standings:
1. Japan 358.884
2. China 357.027
3. Great Britain 354.417
4. Russia 352.692
5. USA 350.332
6. Switzerland 350.127
7. Brazil 349.057
8. Republic of Korea 346.166

 

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