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Worlds Preview - MAG Qualification Subdivisions 5 - 8
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October 7, 2019 – Monday

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 5: (10:00/4am ET)

Floor Exercise: Unites States

Pommel Horse: Japan

Still Rings: Canada

Vault: MxG 14 (Lithuania, Peru)

Parallel Bars: MxG 8 (Jamaica, Costa Rica, Iran)

High Bar: MxG 23 (Mexico, Slovenia)

The fifth subdivision features the teams from Japan and the United States. The Japanese team will be competing without six-time all-aruond champion Kohei Uchimura, who hasn’t missed a world championships since his debut in 2009 when he won his first title. Regardless, the team brings high start value routines on every event and should be one of the contenders in the team competition. The Tanigawa brothers along with Kazuma Kaya should be the gymnasts who would provide most of the routines for the team. United States will be led by six-time U.S. national champion Sam Mikulak, who has potential for an all-around medal as well as individual event finals on floor, p-bars and high bar. Canada was 18th in Doha and will need to have a stellar performance, plus help from some of the other teams to be able to challenge for a top 12 finish. Rene Cournoyer should be the team’s best chance for an all-around final. Notable individuals include Daniel Corral from Mexico who will be aiming for a good all-around performance and qualification spot to Tokyo. In this session Iran’s Saeedreza Keikha, Jamaica’s Michael Reed and Slovenia’s Saso Bertoncelj would be hoping to squeeze in the pommel horse final.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 6: (13:00/7am ET)

Floor Exercise: China

Pommel Horse: Belgium

Still Rings: MxG 5 (Latvia, Cyprus)

Vault: Finland

Parallel Bars: MxG 17 (Hong Kong, Island)

High Bar: Australia

China is the defending champion and is competing with exactly the same team here in Stuttgart. The team’s only weakness is perhaps floor, but of course they could make up for it with their outrageous p-bar score led by Zou Jingyuan’s routine, which could end up in the 16s. Xiao Ruoteng is the 2017 all-around champion and lost the title last year on a tiebreaker, and he is one of the top picks for the title again. The team is capable of multiple finals on multiple events particularly pommel horse, p-bars and high bar. Belgium, Finland and Australia placed 19th, 23rd and 25th in Doha, respectively, and at this point they do not look ready to challenge for a top 12 finish; these three countries will be aiming for all-around Olympic qualification spots. Notable individuals in this session include Marios Georgiou from Cyprus who is respectable all-arounder and should easily qualify to the final, and Shek Wai Hung from Hong Kong who has potential for the vault final.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 7: (16:30/10:30am ET)

Floor Exercise: Ukraine

Pommel Horse: Korea

Still Rings: MxG 22 (Croatia, Morocco, New Zealand)

Vault: Great Britain

Parallel Bars: MxG 18 (Venezuela, Thailand, Tunisia)

High Bar: MxG 11 (Sweden, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago)

This is one of the most appealing subdivisions because it features three countries that can qualify full teams to Tokyo, as well as notable individuals with realistic possibilities for the event finals. Great Britain and Ukraine are both too strong not to qualify to the team final. Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev could be once again an all-around contender if he manages his consistency, and his p-bars routine is still medal worthy. Igor Radivilov will be hoping to make rings and vault finals, while teammate Petro Pakhniuk could manage the p-bars final. Great Britain’s best medal opportunity will be once again world and Olympic champion Max Whitlock on pommel horse who will be looking to regain the title there. The team’s strongest event is floor where they have Dominick Cunningham and Giarnni Regini-Moran capable of making the final. Cunningham was also 4th on vault last year and could repeat as a finalist on that event.

Korea was 13th last year with a poor performance on vault. This year, however, they will have their world and Olympic vault champion Yang Hak-seon back on the team, and with a better performance by Kim Hansol Korea could be one of the highest scoring teams on that event. Kim will be aiming for both the floor and vault final, while Yang will be trying to dethrone Ri Se-gwang and regain the vault title. This subdivision also features a few mixed groups with numerous notable individuals capable of event finals. Croatia will be hoping for world high bar champion Tin Srbic to safely qualify to the final there, while Filip Ude and Robert Seligman will be hoping for pommel horse top 8 scores. It is conceivable that Dominican Republic’s Audrys Nin Reyes makes the vault final, while Carlos Yulo from the Philippines has top 10 potential in the all-around. Yulo won the bronze medal on floor last year in Doha and will be looking to safely qualify to that event once again.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 8: (19:30/1:30pm ET)

Floor Exercise: Netherlands

Pommel Horse: MxG 16 (Uruguay, North Korea, Portugal)

Still Rings: MxG 3 (India, Armenia)

Vault: Romania

Parallel Bars: MxG 15 (Uzbekistan, Georgia)

High Bar: Switzerland

The last and final subdivision of this world championships features the teams of Netherlands, Switzerland and Romania. The Dutch team was 7th and the Swiss were 8th last year in Doha. For the Dutch nothing is guaranteed and anything but a perfect day could jeopardize their qualification to Tokyo. Switzerland on the other hand has too many strong gymnasts on their team not to make it to Tokyo; in fact, they are one of the teams that should be able to return to the team final. Romania was 21st in Doha, and it is not realistic to expect a top 12 finish from them. Epke Zonderland is the defending high bar champion, and there will be pressure on him to hit during qualification as simply making the final could guarantee him a ticket to the Olympics, if his team does not qualify. Romanian legend, Marian Dragulescu is still going at 38, and actually still has a shot at a vault final, and possible Olympic qualification. On the Swiss team best hopes for individual event finals should be Pablo Braegger and Oliver Hegi both on high bar. This session also includes a trio from Armenia, with each one of them having a realistic possibility for a final. Artur Davtyan (VT and AA), Artur Tovmasyan (SR) and Harutyun Merdinyan (PH). Defending vault champion from North Korea’s Ri Se-gwang is also in this session and will have the same pressure to make the final as Zonderland for the very same reason.

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