World Artistic, Acrobatic Gymnastics stars rev up for Varna World Cup07/05/2015
The Palace of Culture and Sport in Varna (BUL) will be bustling this weekend as Bulgaria's third largest city hosts two FIG World Cups, combining Artistic and Acrobatic Gymnastics. The competition programme includes two days of qualifications, allowing spectators to experience both disciplines in the same arena. Saturday and Sunday's finals will also be combined, alternating between Artistic and Acrobatic disciplines.
Here's a preview of the Acro and Artistic World Cups, which get underway Thursday in the Bulgarian metropolis.
Artistic meets Acrobatic at this weekend's World Cup in Varna (BUL), where World Cup competitions will be held in both disciplines. Above, top: Giulia Steingruber (SUI). Middle: Men's Acro Pair Yauheni Novikau and Ilya Rybinski (BLR). Bottom: Women's Trio Ineke van Schoor, Julie van Gelder and Kaat Dumarey.
After her history-making All-around victory at the European Championships in Montpellier (FRA) last month, Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber will return to competition in Varna, where she will attempt to win more World Cup glory. Steingruber's sterling season has also included victories on Vault and Floor at the Doha World Cup in Qatar.
A host of international stars, including reigning World Vault champion Hong Un Jong (PRK) and standouts Oksana Chusovitina (UZB) and former World Vault medallist Phan Thi Ha Thanh (VIE) are also expected to compete. 2015 Worlds hopefuls, including Youna Dufournet (FRA) and 2012 Bulgarian Olympian Ralitsa Mileva (BUL) are also expected to compete on their best events.
The vaulting roster on the men's side is no less impressive, with 2014 World gold medallist Ri Se Gwang (PRK) on a roster that also includes Tomas Gonzalez (CHI) and noted specialists like Pommel Horse World medallist Cyril Tommasone (FRA) and Oleg Stepko (AZE), who made a lasting impression with his solid performance at the European Championships.
The Varna World Cup, the second of three Acrobatic World Cups on the FIG calendar this season, is set to be a star-studded affair.
2014 World medallists from three of the five Acrobatic disciplines will be in attendance, as will several promising newcomers likely to be in the medal hunt at this year's European Acro Championships in September in Riesa (GER) in October.
The Men's Pairs field includes 2014 World silver medallists Yauheni Novikau and Ilya Rybinski (BLR). The polished duo skipped the Maia World Cup in Portugal last month but are likely to face a challenge from the dynamic Alexander Kvasov and Andrei Charikov, who flipped and balanced their way to gold in Portugal. Kazakh veterans Sultanbek Naisbayev and Daniyar Muslimov, also competing at their first World Cup this season, are likely to be a threat for the title, while Levallois World bronze medallist Farai Bright-Garamukanwa and new partner James Kaeageorgis (GBR) have the experience and chutzpah to place well also.
In Women's Pairs, the elegant Viktoryia Mikhnovich and Marharyta Bartashevich (BLR), fourth at the 2014 Worlds, will also be hoping to break into the medals in Varna. They'll be going against five other female duos, including Maia World Cup champions Amy Cook and Lucy Wiener, one of two British Pairs to have entered the competition.
Coming into the Varna World Cup, the young Mixed Pair of Maksim Soprunov and Ekaterina Vdovina (RUS) has reasons to hold their heads up high -- they were the champions in Maia, defeating World bronze medallists Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward (USA) among others. Added to the mix in Varna are Maia silver medallists Yana Vastavel and Solano Cassamajor (BEL). All will meet again in Varna.
Injury to their flier kept reigning World Trio bronze medallists Ineke van Schoor, Kaat Dumarey and Julie van Gelder out of the Maia World Cup, but the determined Belgians vowed they'd be ready for Varna. This weekend's World Cup is not the only pressing occasion on their calendar -- the Acro Trio also recently performed on Belgium's Got Talent, becoming one of two Acrobatic Gymnastics acts to qualify for the May 15 final.
The Women's Trio lineup includes Maia champions Jennifer Bailey, Cicely Irwin and Josephine Russell (GBR), who gained valuable experience at the Levallois Worlds, where they finished seventh in qualifications. The British Trio of Elise Matthews, Georgia Lancaster and Millie Spalding won the World title.
Four of the five disciplines of Acro will be contested in Varna, with Men's Groups being the only title not up for grabs.
Related: Competition website: http://varnaworldcup2015.com/
|07/05/2015 09/05/2015||World Cup 2015 Cat. B||VARNA (BUL)||ACRO|
|07/05/2015 09/05/2015||World Challenge Cup 2015||VARNA (BUL)||MAG, WAG|