The last of the three All-Around World Cup events inArtistic Gymnastics this year is going to be held in the O2 Arena in Londonthis Saturday. Dubbed as the iPro Sport World Cup, this is where the serieschampions are going to be crowned. The national federation with the highestpoint total after all three stops would receive the World Cup series title,while the top three gymnasts in the World Cup rankings will pocket the prizemoney worth between 10,000 and 25,000 Swiss Francs.
The contenders for the highest titles for men are 2016Olympic All-around silver medalist Oleg Verniaiev and China’s Sun Wei. Afterhis great performances at the AT&TAmerican and EnBWDTB-Pokal World Cups, Verniaiev is now leading the Ukraine on top. Wei is secondto him, who would need to win in London and also have Verniaiev finish lowerthan seventh in order to claim the title for China.
The women’s division, however, is quite complicated. USA andGermany are neck to neck due to Ragan Smith and Tabea Alt’s triumphs from thefirst two All-Around World Cups held in their respective countries last month.USA is just five points ahead of Germany in the standings. China, too, is justbehind them by 25 points.
Alt is going to continue on to the iPro Sport World Cup totry and seal the series for her country, while Ragan Smith is going to bereplaced by the US newcomer Victoria Nguyen. For the host country’srepresentatives, there are Rio Olympic floor bronze medalist Amy Tinkler andfirst-year senior Georgia-Mae Fenton.
Last month, Ellie Downie was hailed All-around Champion ofthe British Championships. In this competition, however, she had a minor footproblem during the vault event. Due tothis, she was forced to withdraw from the iPro World Cup and be replaced by the16-year-old Fenton.
“I’ve given my foot as much chance as possible to recoverbut unfortunately the iPro Sport World Cup of Gymnastics is just too soon forme to be able to perform at my best on all four apparatus. It is not a seriousinjury which almost adds more to my frustration but its best to be safe and notto risk anything more serious longer term. I have been training with theBritish Gymnastics Medical Team monitoring my progress and we came to the jointdecision today (Weds 5th) having given it as much time as possible to recover.I’m hugely disappointed to miss what I’m sure is going to be an incredibleevent and know that Georgie-Mae will do GB proud in my place. I hope everyonehas an amazing time supporting all the gymnasts and aim to be back competingvery soon,” Ellie said.
Fenton, who finished fourth All-Around in the BritishChampionships, said that she felt really sorry for Downie because she knew howmuch Downie was looking forward to the event. For her, however, she looks at itas a huge opportunity to compete in the biggest event of her career so far.Fenton also said that it has been her dream to compete for her country in frontof a home crowd, and she believed her form at the British Championships wasgood. She felt ready to perform.
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