Day 1: Qualifications events
DOHA (QAT) – March 25, 2015: Things got down to business for the 123 gymnasts competing here in Doha (QAT) at the 8th edition of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup. The competition has begun to unfold at the famous Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, venue for scores of prestigious events.
Even those of the cognoscenti would agree that gymnasts here in Doha have elevated their technical level and presented a well-crafted and technical form of gymnastics without neglecting Execution. A great job and encouraging prospects for developing nations.
In Men’s, HYPOLITO Diego BRA (15.400) gave a memorable performance on Floor with tight, clean landings. He qualified 2nd the American DALTON Jacob also showed commendable precision (15.350) as did Croate MARKOVIC Tomislav; PAKHNYUK Petro and SHIRAI Shotaro with (15.100).
At the Pommel Horse, it did not take long for Armenian MERDINYAN Harutyum to put his talent on display, keeping an edge on his competition (14.800) and an eye on Azerbaijan STEPKO Oleg (14.750). Enter BERTONCELJ Saso (SLO).
The Olympic Champion ZANETTI Arthur (BRA) is looking good and showed it off with a 15.750 point Rings were simply staggering. A strong candidate for the podium. The Armenian’s VAHAGN Davtyan is at 0.30 points shy of his adversary, while MUNTEAN Andrei (ROU) looks to be a strong prospect for the Final.
DAVTYAN Artur (ARM) is looking good and showed it off with a 14.950 point vault! A finalist and very possibly a podium! Followed by SHIRAI Shotaro (JPN), even more volitant, landed with an extra measure of precision, besting MUNTEAN Andrei (ROU) and ARICAN Ferhat (TUR) with 14.525 are both solid aspirants to the podium.
Sterling work by Azerbaijan’s STEPKO Oleg, who we’d all like to see mount the podium, what with the mind-blowing exercise he performed with 15.650 followed by Colombian’s CALVO Jossimar with 0.05 difference. Romanian’s BERBECAR Marius was next with a unanimously fantastic performance (15.350) and a real stab at the podium.
LEYVA Danell (USA) and his 15.250 will be hard to beat in the Final. His exercise neared perfection and oozed elegance. Simply ravishing and utterly artistic gymnastics! Everyone’s eyes were on Croatian MOZNIK Marijo and the mano a mano that could very well play out day after tomorrow at the climax event of this 2015 World Cup in Doha.
The Suisse STEINGRUBER Giulia dominated the qualification with 14.150 but is up against Vietnam PHAN Thi Ha Thanh lies in ambush as a very possible candidate for the podium in the Final; followed by Slovenian BELAK Teja (13.850).
MARTINS Ana Filipa of Portugal was the first to be started, but mucked up her landing with one-step and a touch of the hands! A hard knock. 12.400! A lovely performance and a smile to match by Romanian JURCA Laura, who showed good Execution devoid of excessive risk (13.150). Followed by PERDREAU Lucie (13.050). We will see them again in the Final.
PHAN Thi Ha Thanh (VIE) took the event hands down (14.050), carving a comfortable gap between herself and HYPOLITO Daniele (BRA), Romania and Portugal nemesis.
Suisse STEINGRUBER Giulia impressed with her 14.300 points from the qualifying rounds. A nod for Romanian JURCA Laura, fluid and elegant in her exercise with (13.800) followed by the Portuguese MARTINS Ana Filipa also a podium hopeful.