Osijek, Sept 18, 2013: With two Gold and two Silver medals, the Netherlands were the most successful nation at the World Challenge Cup in Osijek (CRO) at the weekend. With 19 different countries sharing the medals, the event concluded the 2013 FIG Individual Apparatus World Cup and World Challenge Cup series, and was the last major competition before the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp (BEL).
Dutch gymnasts Noel van Klaveren and Sanne Wevers claimed the titles on Vault and Balance Beam, while their compatriots Chantysha Netteb and Jeffrey Wammes took Silver on Women’s Vault and Men’s Floor respectively.
Two-time Olympian Jessica Lopez of Venezuela enjoyed the biggest medal haul. She took the Bronze on Uneven Bars, Silver on Balance Beam and Gold on Floor Exercise, after having qualified in top position in all three events.
With her Bronze medal on Vault, Vietnam’s Nguyan Ha Thanh climbed to joint second in the overall rankings, alongside Giulia Steingruber (SUI) and behind series winner Oksana Chusovitina (UZB). On Uneven Bars, Russia’s Ekaterina Kramarenko, a veteran of the 2008 Olympic Games, improved on her qualifying score to outscore Kristyna Palesova (CZE) for the Gold. The latter also finished second overall behind her compatriot Jana Sikulova, who won the Uneven Bars title for the 2013 series despite finishing fifth in Osijek. Vasiliki Millousi (GRE) claimed overall victory on Balance Beam, despite finishing a disappointing seventh at the weekend, while absentee Diana Bulimar of Romania took the series title on Floor. Krystyna Sankova (UKR) impressed with a Bronze on Beam and Silver on Floor, and in the latter was joined on the podium by her teammate Angelina Kysla, who claimed Bronze.
In the men’s event, Japanese gymnast Kenzo Kaneko outscored Silver medallist Wammes and Croatians Tomislav Markovic and Andrej Kokosteljev, who shared third place, to take the title on Floor. Top qualifier Eleftherios Kosmidis of Greece could only finish sixth; but retained his overall lead on this apparatus to claim the cup.
Four-time Olympian Alberto Busnari (ITA) impressed with a massive 16.100 on Pommel Horse to finish ahead of Belgium’s event specialist Donna Donny Truyens and the host country’s Filip Ude. Meanwhile, fifth place was enough for Slovenian Saso Bertoncelj to claim the 2013 series title.
Top qualifier Eleftherios Petrounias (GRE) confirmed his dominance of the Still Rings on the World Challenge Cup circuit, taking the Gold in Osijek and also the overall title. In Osijek, he prevailed over French pair Samir Ait Said and Danny Pinheiro Rodrigues, who took Silver and Bronze respectively.
Ha Thanh Nguyen outvaulted the field in Osijek to take the Gold, ahead of Pavel Bulauski (BLR), who claimed Silver, and Tomi Tuuha (FIN) and Cuong Hoang (VIE), who shared Bronze. Marek Lysczarz (POL) finished fifth in Osijek to win the overall Vault title..
On the Parallel Bars, 2011 Pan American Champion Jossimar Calvo of Colombia was too strong for top qualifier Axel Augis (FRA) to take the Gold in Osijek, and with it the overall series trophy. Ferhat Arican of Turkey won the Bronze.
The surprise of the weekend came on Horizontal Bar, where Hungarian gymnast Bence Talas won his first international competition, finishing ahead of Austria’s Fabian Leimlehner and Nicolas Cordoba of Argentina. Olympic Champion and top qualifier Epke Zonderland had to settle for fourth place, while Croatia’s Marijo Moznik failed to qualify for the final, but still had enough points to win the overall series title.
About 2013 FIG Individual Apparatus Artistic Gymnastics World Cup and World Challenge Cup Series
The 2013 FIG World Cup and World Challenge Cup season for individual-apparatus tournaments features a total of six events. The series starts with the only Individual Apparatus Finals World Cup of the year in La Roche sur Yon (FRA) on March 16-17, and continues with five World Challenge Cups scheduled as follows: Cottbus (GER) on March 21-24, Doha (QAT) on March 27-29, Ljubljana (SLO) on April 26-28, Anadia (POR) on June 21-23, and Osijek (CRO) on September 13-15.
With separate World Ranking lists being established for this series (six for men and four for women), and the Individual Apparatus rankings including combined lists for the World Cup and World Challenge Cups, the overall winners will be crowned in Osijek.
World Cups with Individual Apparatus qualification rounds and finals are open to the apparatus finalists of the 2012 Olympic Games and the best four gymnasts per apparatus from the 2012 World Cup Ranking list for Individual Apparatus. In addition, the organising member federation can grant wild cards to a maximum of one man and one woman.
The World Challenge Cup series is an open category, with participation limited to two gymnasts per country and apparatus, and invitations addressed at least to the apparatus finalists of the 2012 Olympic Games and the best eight gymnasts per apparatus from the 2012 World Cup Ranking list for Individual Apparatus.
The winners of the 2013 Individual Apparatus World Cup & World Challenge Cup Series will be the gymnasts with the highest number of points for each apparatus and the best four results counting after the last event in Osijek. —- FIG
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