STUTTGART (GER), 13 October 2019:
Following the apparatus finals at the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart (GER), the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) officially updated the list of individual gymnasts who have earned a nominative place from the 2019 World Championships for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The list has been published on the 2020 Olympic Games event calendar page on the FIG website.
The specialists have another opportunity to qualify with the current Apparatus World Cup series that ends in March 2020. The four women’s and six men’s winners on each apparatus – a ranking decided by taking the best three results of each participant in the series – will be Tokyo-bound (on the condition that these gymnasts have not actively participated in the qualification of their respective teams).
There will be the possibility of gaining extra individual places for the competing countries via the 2020 All-around World Cup series – these will be available to the top three countries in this four-stage series running in March and April of that year.
The final qualifying opportunity will come at the continental championships in spring 2020 when there will be two individual places at stake for each of Africa, America, Europe and Asia and one place for Oceania.
For more information on the Olympic qualification system, click here.
The Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Stuttgart 2019 was a superlative sporting event, according to the unanimous tenor of the final press conference of the World Championships shortly before the end of the competitions. Excellently organised, with innovative concepts for sustainability and an incomparable atmosphere, the Worlds set new standards. The enthusiasm and positive mood of the Stuttgart audience inspired the 540 gymnasts from 92 countries to top performances and brought the thrill of gymnastics to the public.
FIG President Morinari Watanabe praised the event’s organisation, the athletes’ performance and the support of the capacity crowds at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Hall. “We have never seen such a great cheer. We have never met such kind and hard-working volunteers.” Watanabe said the quality of the Gymnastics on show had been exceptional, adding: “New stars from new countries were born.” He pointed to the gold medals for Turkey and the Philippines as examples of how the sport was opening new horizons, but also praised the achievements of established stars like All-around champions Simone Biles (USA) and Nikita Nagornyy (RUS). Watanabe said the championships had been characterised by the competing nations supporting each other and said mutual support was important for the sport. “Friendships raise the level of Gymnastics,” said Watanabe. “This is fantastic for us, we’re a Gymnastics family.”
Dr. Alfons Hölzl, President of the German Gymnastics Federation, was extremely satisfied. “We wanted to ignite a gymnastics fire – we managed that. Anyone who has seen a total of over 100,000 spectators every day in the competition arena knows what I’m talking about. The audience was electrified. And that makes me particularly proud, not only at the appearances of the German athletes, but also at the international competitors.
We wanted to prove ourselves as good hosts, I think we succeeded. I was also very pleased to see how much the spark from the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Hall jumped over to the Schlossplatz or the other venues.
In addition, we wanted to set new standards for our sport and open up gymnastics with its forms of movement to more people. With the many offers around the World Championships and the projects that have a lasting effect on the association, we have made a lot of progress in this process”.
The President expressly thanked the state capital Stuttgart, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the federal government, the International Gymnastics Federation FIG, the sponsors and media partners – especially SWR – as well as the hundreds of volunteers, employees, partners and service providers for their great support and extraordinary commitment.
“Of course, I was also very enthusiastic about the positive and successful sporting performances of the Gymnastics Team Germany. To see our gymnasts go to work with a lot of passion and ambition in combination with sporting fair play was simply great. Congratulations on the men’s and women’s Olympic qualification and on the great individual results,” said Hölzl.
“As a representative of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, I am particularly happy about the Gymnastics World Championships, which have never been hosted as often as here in Stuttgart – one can say that Stuttgart is the Gymnastics World Champion as host,” said Minister of State Theresa Schopper in the concluding press conference. “The fact that the competition is now taking place here for the third time shows that this is the case: Baden-Württemberg is a sports state – and a state of gymnasts, because more than one in ten is a member of a gymnastics club. At the end of this great competition I would like to thank all athletes, the public, the organisers with their 600 volunteers, who have made sure that the last days, weeks and months went smoothly. We are also glad to have had Swabian engineering skills for the World Cup medals and to be able to experience the joy of the athletes from many countries at these extraordinary medals,” said the Minister of State.
Dr. Martin Schairer, Deputy Mayor for Security, Order and Sport, said “The 2019 Gymnastics World Championships were a flagship event for the sports city of Stuttgart in all areas. My heartfelt thanks go to the athletes, to the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, to the German and Swabian Gymnastics Associations, to the spectators, to the many volunteers and above all to the enthusiasts who made this World Cup a unique experience for everyone”.
Mayor Schairer also referred to the sustainability aspect of the event: “We also wanted to make the Gymnastics World Championships present in the middle of the city and set impulses for the promotion of physical activity. This was achieved with the City Event on Schlossplatz and other activities. In this way, the Worlds is sustainably doing justice to its goal of setting new standards that can also be felt far beyond the event in the city”.
Wolfgang Drexler, President of the Swabian Gymnastics Federation, once again spoke about the atmosphere and the fair audience in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Hall. “This Artistic Gymnastics World Championships with its sensational atmosphere was a great event and once again proved that Stuttgart is a very special location in the world of gymnastics and is appreciated by both the public and the athletes. Major sporting events are important for Stuttgart, especially in gymnastics. We would like to apply for the next Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in ten years’ time, and hope that we will then be able to present equally good standards. It is also a matter close to my heart as president of the STB that we share the emotionality of gymnastics, these positive experiences of movement with all people. In the last few days we have counted 6,725 somersaults in our actions in the city. A representative study shows that 40 percent of the population would like to be able to do a somersault. It is the task of gymnastics, i.e. our task to close the existing gap… We will continue and set new standards!”
Men’s vault – In a repeat of the men’s all-around, it was a Russian one-two in this final. Nikita Nagornyy just pipped his teammate Artur Dalaloyan by a mere 0.033 of a point. In third place was Ukrainian Igor Radivilov. All three gymnasts showed 5.6 difficulty vaults, so were very evenly matched. Both Nagornyy and Radivilov showed the same two vaults – a Dragulescu followed by a Tsukahara double pike, while Dalaloyan chose a Yurchenko triple twist followed by a handspring, double pike front. Romania’s Marian Dragulescu himself, now 38 years old, secured Olympic qualification with his fourth place finish.
Balance beam – When last’s year’s silver medalist, Anne-Marie Padurariu, fell twice early on in the final, it left the way open for the two Chinese gymnasts to capitalise before the penultimate competitor, Simone Biles. Last year’s beam champion, Liu Tingting, had the second highest difficulty score of the day – 6.2 – so despite one wobble she took the lead with a score of 14.433, with her teammate Li Shijia just behind. American Kara Eaker could not overtake them, but Simone Biles could. She performed a faultless routine, starting with her signature double wolf turn and was rock solid for the title.
Parallel bars – Highest qualifier, Lukas Dauser, had the weight of the nation on his shoulders as he targeted Germany’s first medal of the championships. As the seventh competitor, he had already seen steady routines from Joe Fraser (Great Britain), Ahmet Onder (Turkey) and Kazuma Kaya (Japan), placed first to third. But for Dauser, it was not to be, with a fall that left him out of reach of a medal. When the last competitor, Ukraine’s Petro Pakhniuk, suffered a few wobbles, it became clear that Great Britain’s Joe Fraser had taken the gold medal, with Onder in second place and Kaya in third.
Women’s floor – no matter how hard the other competitors tried, this final was really only about one gymnast – Simone Biles. Competing last, she provided a fitting finale. Her routine contained three double tuck backs, with one, two and three twists – unbeatable! With a double layout half thrown in for good measure, her difficulty value of 6.7 was the highest by far. The silver medal was won by Sunisa Lee (USA) and the bronze by Russia’s Angelina Melnikova.
Horizontal bar – Tin Srbic of Croatia went into this final hoping for a qualification to the Tokyo Olympics, having placed third in qualifications. But a sore shoulder forced him to reduce his difficulty from 6.4 to 6.2 – would he make it onto the podium? It looked possible when the highest qualifer, Tang Chia-Hung, unfortunately fell off the bar. Then the Brazilian, Arthur Mariano, produced an electrifying routine to take the gold medal, with Srbic in second and the Russian Artur Dalaloyan in third.
Men’s floor – all-around champion Nikita Nagornyy was the first to compete but took several steps out of bounds on his first pass, a triple somersault. Second gymnast Artem Dolgopyat of Israel, the highest qualifier, then produced a massive score of 15.2 – surely unbeatable? One by one the gymnasts that followed could not match the score, until the penultimate gymnast – Carlos Edriel Yulo of the Philippines. He produced a stunning routine with almost perfect landings, and scored 15.3 – winning the gold medal in the process.
Women’s vault – Elissa Downie of Great Britain was the first to go, producing two excellent vaults of 5.4 and 6 difficulty for an average score of 14.816. Almost immediately, she was overtaken by the all-around champion Simone Biles, who used vaults with 6 and 5.8 difficulty value. These two gymnasts stayed in the top two places for the rest of the competition, until the final vaulter, Jade Carey of the USA, stepped up and took the silver medal behind Biles and ahead of Downie.
Men’s pommel horse – Highest qualifier Max Whitlock of Great Britain was the second gymnast to compete, and he produced the most difficult routine of the day with a 7 point difficulty value. His score of 15.5 could not be beaten by any of the gymnasts that followed, although Rhys McClenaghan had the highest execution score of 9 points. He took the bronze behind Lee Chih Kai of Chinese Taipei.
Uneven bars – Rebecca Downie finished the routine of her life and scored a 15.000 bringing home the silver medal. Sunisa Lee from the USA was very happy to finish a clean routine after falling in the all-around final two days ago and won bronze. The German representative Elisabeth Seitz enjoyed support from the German crowd but had a fall on her pak salto. Competing on her “weakest“ event, Simone Biles finished a great routine – still not good enough for a medal. Probably the only final she leaves without a podium finish. The Belgian Nina Derwael, consistent as always, was last up on the roaster. With only a small hop on landing she put out the best score and won gold.
Rings – Of all today’s finals, this was the most significant in terms of Olympic qualification. The top three gymnasts without a qualified team would be eligible, so the pressure was intense. Five gymnasts were vying for these spots, and the outcome was a historic gold for Ibrahim Colak of Turkey, the first ever world medal for that country. In second place was Italy’s Marco Lodadio, followed by Samir Ait Said of France. Missing out on automatic Olympic qualification was reigning world and Olympic champion, Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece, who placed fourth. He will now have to see if he can qualify through the World Cup series. A great roar went up for the third gymnast, Germany’s Nick Klessing. He put in a steady routine but lacked a little in quality of execution.
Sunday 13 October – On this last day of the Gymnastics World Championships 2019, the medals will be awarded for the women’s floor and beams and for the men’s jump, bars and high bar.
Defending champion: Ri Se-gwang (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
In the men’s vault finals, the scores from the qualifiers are closely matched. The Korean Yang Hakeson lead the field with 14.933 points. Dominick Cunningham, eighth-placed, is just 0.367 points away from the top ranking. The Russian Artur Dalaloyan, who won the silver medal on this apparatus last year, qualified for the final on 2nd place.
Defending champion: Simone Biles (United States of America)
The two women’s finals are dominated by Simone Biles. Her main rivals on beam are Li Shijia and Liu Tingting from China, who qualified 2nd and 3rd. Although the Chinese athletes show the highest difficulties, the decisive factor after several falls in the team final is whether they can stay on the apparatus. Sarah Voss of Germany qualified for the beam final on 6th place.
Defending champion: Zou Jingyuan (People’s Republic of China)
The men’s bar final will be a particularly exciting highlight of the day. The defending champion fell on this event in qualifications, leaving German gymnast Lukas Dauser in first place, with the rest of the field very close behind. The Ukrainian Petro Pakhniuk joins with the same number of points in second place and Joe Fraser from Great Britain took 3rd place with a gap of just 0.033 points. Every smallest mistake will decide victory and defeat.
Defending champion: Simone Biles (United States of America)
For one last time at these world Championships, Simone Biles will show her triple double on the floor. Favourite after Biles is her teammate Sunisa Lee and bronze medal winner at this year’s European Championships, Angelina Melnikova from Russia. Last year, Melnikova just missed the podium. Melanie De Jesus dos Santos from France is also in the final and hopes for a medal.
Defending champion: Epke Zonderland (Netherlands)
The last final of the day will be held on high bar. The defending champion fell on this event in qualifications so did not make this final. The favourite is Chia-Hung Tang from Chinese Taipei, with Samuel Mikulak from the USA and Tin Srbic of Croatia close behind. Mikulak will be the only representative from the horizontal bar at the last World Championships, where he won the bronze medal.
Competition will start at 1 pm.
In front of around 6500 spectators, two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak (USA) and Melanie de Jesus dos Santos (FRA) were awarded the Longines Prize for Elegance. This special prize is awarded every year to the two most elegant gymnasts of the all-around finals for outstanding elegance at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart (GER). The prize is awarded by the Swiss watchmaker and long-standing partner of the FIG.
Both gymnasts were selected by a special jury comprised of FIG President Morinari Watanabe, Longines Germany Brand Manager Rainer Eckert, and Stuttgart 2019 Ambassadors Catalina Ponor (ROU) and Fabian Hambuechen (GER)
Harmony of movement and elegance
The winners of the Longines Prize for Elegance are gymnasts whose performances convey emotional appeal extending beyond technical considerations, sparkling with beauty, grace, harmony of movement, and above all, elegance. In addition to a superb expression on the carpet, the winners of the Longines Prize for Elegance demonstrate impeccable sportsmanship off of it as well.
Mikulak happy about the appreciation
Mikulak was happy to win the prize right after a disappointment in the All-around final, when a fall late in the competition dropped him to seventh place.
It makes me feel appreciated. I was putting out a show and it feels good to be appreciated for trying as hard as you can. For them to notice it and acknowledge it brings a bit of consolation.”
“I didn’t think I was elegant”
De Jesus dos Santos, der europäische Mehrkampfmeister von 2019, beendete das Mehrkampf-Finale am Mittwoch als 20.
“Ich freue mich sehr und fühle mich geehrt, diese Auszeichnung zu erhalten”, sagte sie. “Ich hätte vorher nicht gedacht, dass ich elegant bin, aber jetzt habe ich dank dieser Auszeichnung eine Idee. Ein großes Dankeschön an Longines und die Mitglieder der Jury, dass sie an mich gedacht haben.”
Nikita Nagornyy of the Russian Federation won the all-around title with 88.772 points after a fascinating tussle with his teammate Artur Dalaloyan and Chinese gymnast Xiao Ruoteng.
Nagornyy competed with strong and steady routines, showing exemplary consistency throughout the competition. A lengthy delay due to technical problems with the scoring system before his first routine on floor did not seem to hamper him.
Nagornyy was in second place for the first three rotations, behind Dalaloyan after the first, then Xiao Ruoteng after the second, and Sam Mikulak of the USA after the third. But by the end of rotation four he had taken the lead, and never looked back.
“Basically the gold medal means that I have had good training,” he put it simply, adding “I don’t have any more emotions because we put all of them into our team competition two days ago.”
His compatriot Artur Dalaloyan came second with 87.165 despite a low landing on his vault. Last year’s all-around silver medalist Xiao Ruoteng showed great performances on floor, pommel horse and parallel bars, scoring over 15 points on each, but came to grief on his last apparatus, high bar, where he fell off.
“I decided to add some difficulties on my high bar routine,” he explained, as an attempt to close the gap between himself and Nagornyy. “Unfortunately I had a mistake. I am quite impressed by Nikita Nagornyy’s performance today.”
Xiao’s fourth-place finish allowed the Ukrainian, Oleg Verniaiev, who had been quietly sitting just behind the leaders throughout the competition, the chance to take the bronze medal.
It was an outcome that delighted the exhausted veteran. “I don’t have emotions because I am so tired. But I am happy.” The 2016 Olympic all-around silver medalist had never won a world all-around medal before.
Menawhile, Sam Mikulak, the leader after three rotations, finished in seventh place after a fall on his Busnari element on pommel horse.
Finally, Andreas Toba of Germany enjoyed the support of the home crowd. The all-around German national champion showed good routines but said he could not push forward, because he was too nervous during the whole competition. He finished in 19th place.
“It was not that easy for me,” Toba explained, ”but I feel joy and gratitude for what I experienced here.”
The first five individual apparatus titles will be won today
Saturday 12 October – Five gold medals are up for grabs, in the men’s floor, pommel horse and rings, with two event finals for women – vault and uneven bars. Here’s what to look out for:
Defending champion: Artur Dalaloyan (Russian Federation)
The defending champion is in this final, but he qualified in fifth place. The strongest qualifier is Artem Dolgopyat of Israel, the only gymnast to score over 15 to reach the final. Watch out for China’s Lin Chaopan and Russia’s Nikita Nagornyy, both of whom have the difficulty to take a medal. Last year’s surprise bronze medalist, Carlos Edriel Yulo of the Philippines, could also make an impact.
Defending champion: Simone Biles (USA)
This contest will most likely be a duel between the two Americans, Simone Biles and Jade Carey. They were the only qualifiers to score over 15 and are clearly the two to beat. Last year’s silver and bronze medalists, Shallon Olsen of Canada and Alexa Moreno of Mexico respectively, are both in the final. Also in with a medal chance is British gymnast Elissa Downie and Korean gymnast Yeo Seojeong.
Defending champion: Xiao Ruoteng (People’s Republic of China)
The defending champion failed to make this final when he fell in qualifications, so last year’s silver medalist and highest qualifier Max Whitlock of Great Britain is favourite here. He is considering a huge difficultly score of 7, which he used in the team finals but fell on. Will he play safe in this final? If he does, it could open the door to second-placed qualifier, Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland, whose execution scores are his strongest asset. It will be a fascinating contest.
Defending champion: Nina Derwael (Belgium)
Four of last year’s finalists are on the roster for this event, with Derwael the top qualifier and favourite to win. But bars specialist Daria Spiridonova of the Russian Federation is close behind her, as is Sunisa Lee of the USA. German gymnast Elisabeth Seitz is sure to make and impact, along with Great Britain’s Rebecca Downie. But last year’s silver medalist on this event, Simone Biles, cannot be ruled out, despite qualifying down in seventh place.
Defending champion: Eleftherios Petrounias (Greece)
Petrounias is back, but until the qualification competition, he had not competed for a year due to a shoulder injury. He qualified in fourth place but feels he can do better in the final. Challenging him for the title is first place qualifier, Ibrahim Colak of Turkey, together with last year’s silver medalist, Arthur Zanetti of Brazil and Samir Ait Said of France, who both matched Petrounias’ qualifying score. Also in the mix is last year’s bonze medalist, Marco Lodadio of Italy.
The top squad alongside Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Tang Xijing, Li Shijia, Melanie De Jesus dos Santos and Angelina Melnikova started their competition strongly on vault. However on the second apparatus came the big surprise. Sunisa Lee had a fall on uneven bars and opened the door for the other medal contenders. Only minutes later, Melanie de Jesus dos Santos from France also fell – twice.
The beam rotation ended without falls. Although Lee and De Jesus dos Santos had consistent routines, they couldn’t find their way back into leading positions. The dream of winning an all-around medal remained a dream. Lee had to settle for 8th place behind the Brazilian Flavia Saraiva, but Dos Santos finished 20th. Unphased by the bad luck of her fellow campaigners was Simone Biles. She finished her competition without falls or major mistakes and won gold, 2.1 points ahead of the Chinese Tang Xijing, who was the big surprise of the day. She replaced teammate Liu Tingting and showed a very strong performance to win the silver medal.
Angelina Melnikova from Russia finished in third position after solid performances. A medal she’d been close to in the last two World Championships. „I am very happy that now I have got a medal in the individual competition. This is my very first individual medal.“ Ellie Black from Canada was fourth but suffered an injury on her last event and entered the medal ceremony on crutches.
The Belgian Nina Derwael can be satisfied with her competition and became fifth in the ranking. Also the Germans managed a solid competition and finished in a well-deserved sixth place by Elisabeth Seitz and Sarah Voss in tenth position. A great success for the German duo.
Battle for gold between Russia and China continues
Friday 11 October – After the thrilling finale of the men’s team competition on Wednesday, where the Russian Federation beat the People’s Republic of China for the first time in history, the rivalry continues in the all-around final.
Last year at the world championships in Doha, China’s Xiao Ruoteng tied for first place with Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan, but was downgraded to silver due to a tie-break procedure.
It is an outcome he is hoping will not be reepated. “I really want to focus on the all-around now,” said the 2017 all-around world champion after the team event. “to win a gold medal, not a silver medal again.”
The top six gymnasts from last year’s all-around are all back in this year’s final, in what could be a repeat contest for the medals. Top qualifier here in Stuttgart is last year’s bronze medalist, Nikita Nagornyy of Russia, and top favourite to take the title.
Also in the mix is China’s Sun Wei, who was fourth in 2018, and Kazuma Kaya of Japan, sixth last year. The fifth-place finisher from Doha is Sam Mikulak of the USA, who only just scraped into this final in 24th place after a nightmare in qualifications.
“I did not think I was even going to make it,” the American confessed after qualifications. But he came back with a stellar performance in the team competition, with a total score that would have put him in second place in qualifications. If he competes like that in the all-around, a medal is certainly within grasp.