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Worlds Preview - MAG Qualification Subdivisions 1 - 4
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October 6, 2019 – Sunday

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 1: (10:00/4am ET)

Floor Exercise: Italy

Pommel Horse: Chinese Taipei

Still Rings: Kazakhstan

Vault: MxG 21 (Algeria, Israel, Monaco)

Parallel Bars: MxG 19 (Ireland, Poland)

High Bar: MxG 2 (Austria, Kuwait, Mongolia)

Italy was 14th in Doha and being in the very first subdivision might hurt their chances of ending in top 12, but their team total could be a good benchmark for the rest of the competition. Bronze medalist on rings last year, Marco Lodadio, should be a lock for the final on that event. He is one of the legitimate medal contenders here. Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chih-kai stands on first place in the World Cup pommel horse rankings, but has a tricky draw here in Stuttgart, starting the competition on his best event. His teammate Tang Chia Hung was a finalist on high bar last year, and he should be someone to watch there. Israel has potential for a few finals with the best chance being Artem Dolgopyat on floor. Dolgopyat was silver medalist in 2017 and he is one of the floor guys who can keep up with the Russians on that event. His teammate Alexander Shatilov has an outside chance on the event. Andrey Medvedev could make vault final of course depending on landings. Kazakhstan’s Milad Karimi will be hoping to advance to the floor final, where he was a finalist in 2017. Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan is one of the favorites for a medal on pommel horse and will be hoping for a solid performance in this qualification round.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 2: (13:00/7am ET)

Floor Exercise: Norway

Pommel Horse: MxG 9 (Azerbaijan, Serbia, Slovakia)

Still Rings: MxG 7 (Denmark, Vietnam)

Vault: Hungary

Parallel Bars: MxG 12 (Angola, Ecuador, Syria)

High Bar: France

France was 12th in Doha and 3rd at last year’s European Championships. Of course anything can happen, but not qualifying to Tokyo would be a disappointment for this team. Individual event final hopefuls include Cyril Tommasone pommel horse, Samir Ait Said rings and Loris Frasca vault. Hungary’s pommel horse world and Olympic champion Krisztian Berki was scheduled to make a return to competition here; unfortunately he was forced to withdraw with another shoulder injury. This session also features a full team from Norway and mixed groups from Azerbaijan, Serbia, Slovakia, Denmark, Vietnam, Angola, Ecuador and Syria.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 3: (16:30/10:30am ET)

Floor Exercise: Russia

Pommel Horse: Belarus

Still Rings: MxG 6 (Colombia, Guatemala, Chile)

Vault: Turkey

Parallel Bars: MxG 4 (Nigeria, Greece)

High Bar: MxG 20 (Czech Republic, Cuba, Albania)

Losing to China by less than a tenth a year ago, the Russian team should be set for revenge. Led by defending all-around champion Artur Dalaloyan, Russia is one of the favorites for the team title. Nikita Nagornyy, who was third in the all-around in Doha, has shown the best all-around form throughout the year. Both Nagornyy and Dalaloyan could easily qualify to multiple event finals. David Belyavskiy won’t be pursuing the all-around, but should be a contender on PH, PB and HB. Denis Abliazin is not quite 100% back on the leg events, but he is on the team for his ring routine, which should easily place him in the final of that event. Turkey was 15th last year in Doha with a meltdown performance on pommel horse. Led by two solid all-arounders, Ahmet Onder and Ferhat Arican, the team could make history by advancing to their first ever Olympic games, given they manage to solve the pommel horse dilemma. Onder was a floor finalist in Doha, while Arican and Ibrahim Colak made the p-bar and rings finals two years ago in Montreal. The stylish Belarusian team has been receiving the help of Leonid Arkaev since the European Games in Minsk three months ago. The team will be looking to improve on a 24th place finish in Doha last year.

Notable individuals:

Defending world and Olympic rings champion Eleftherios Petrounias is schedule to return to competition for the first time in a year following a shoulder surgery after Doha. He opted out of the podium training to rest his shoulder, but claims to be 95% ready for the qualification round. Jorge Vega from Guatemala could be a factor for the vault final, while Tomas Gonzalez from Chile usually manages to sneak into the floor top 8. 2015 all-around silver medalist Manrique Larduet seems healthy but has lost difficulty on some of the events. The Cuban should easily obtain an Olympic berth through the all-around allotments and could manage to qualify to the p-bar and/or the high bar final. Colombia’s best all-arounder Jossimar Calvo Moreno will be absent from the competition due to injury.

Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 4: (19:30/1:30pm ET)

Floor Exercise: MxG 1 (Egypt, Bulgaria)

Pommel Horse: MxG 13 (Qatar, Jordan, El Salvador)

Still Rings: MxG 10 (Puerto Rico, Argentina, Indonesia)

Vault: Spain

Parallel Bars: Germany

High Bar: Brazil

In the last subdivision of day one we have three teams with legitimate contention for a top 12 finish. Brazil finished 6th last year in Doha, while Germany was 10th and Spain 11th. Once again Brazil should be the strongest of the three and is expected to return to the team final, while for Germany and Spain, it will depend on who delivers better on the day. Anything but a strong performance should put these two teams in jeopardy of not qualifying to Tokyo. Brazil’s Artur Zanetti was the rings silver medalist in Doha and would be the team’s best chance for a medal. Ray Zapata showed incredible readiness on floor during podium training, but he is the alternate on the team, because Spain’s team total score is a much higher priority.

Ali Zahran from Egypt won the rings title at the World Challenge Cup last month in Paris and has potential for the final here. The session also features the mixed groups of Egypt, Bulgaria, Qatar, Jordan, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Indonesia.

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