Asian Women’s Championship Preview – The Balance Beam Situation


The Asian Championships, the next step in the qualifying journey for the world championships, begins this week in Doha. For women, there will be 4 team places at the World Championships, as well as an additional 8 places in the all-around for those who are not from a qualifying country (men have 5 team places and 6 AA places ).

The team/AA competition will span two days for some reason, with vault and bars on June 15 followed by beam and floor on June 16. This two-day competition will determine all qualifiers for the World Championships, with event finals on the 17th and 18th to crown the continental champions.

In the teams department, China and Japan are the main favorites and should have no problem securing two of the four available team spots (although based on the scores so far this year, we could have a tight race between the two).

Although the Chinese women have not participated in an official competition so far this year (the national championship has been cancelled), they have held a internal test for the Asian Championship team, and then named a traveling team of Zhang Jin, Tang Xijing, Wu Ran, Wei Xiaoyuan, Luo Rui, and Sun Xinyi, with the alternate from that group of 6 yet to be determined. Since Tang, Wei, and Luo are needed for bars, Zhang seems very needed for vault and floor, and Wu got 13.866 on floor in the trial, I’d venture to assume that the replacement will be Sun Xinyi, who is a phenomenal spotlight on an already deep beam team, but we’ll see.

Not on the Chinese team were Ou Yushan, who didn’t compete on floor in the trial and only did a Yfull on vault, and Qi Qi, who may have was able to add some jump to the group but didn’t show any other competition apparatus.

With several veterans in the selected squad, China brings a much more experienced team than Japan, which is in renaissance mode after the post-Olympic international retirements of Murakami, Teramoto, Hatakeda and Sugihara (who still plans to compete in the national championship event championships). Instead, Japan’s Asian Championship team is the brand new quintet of Kasahara Arisa, Miyata Shoko, Yamada Chiharu, Watanabe Hazuki and Matsuda Touwa, who despite their lack of a footprint on the world gymnastics scene , have recorded Nationals and NHK scores that should at least keep China on their toes.

The complication here for Japan is that the national championships are also held on the 18th and 19th, preventing gymnasts from competing in both competitions, which are a vital part of the world championship selection process in Japan. Based on the Nationals and NHK results, Kasahara, Miyata and Yamada have already clinched their spots on this year’s World Team with their top 3 AAs. World Team 4th and 5th place, meanwhile, will be determined by the average of the top two scores from each event that adds the most to a potential team score after the event’s championships, with 4th place being limited to those who finished 4th. 10th in NHK and 5th place with no AA placement or meeting participation limits (which is a big step for Japan’s selection process and I’m so proud of you).

5th place unrelated to AA finishes is key to world beam champion Urara Ashikawa’s hopes of returning to the world championships as she hasn’t posted the necessary all-around results until present this year. She’s going to have to get that 5th place finish with her beam scores, and given how tight the race for world final spots seems right now, the championship results of the event will hugely influence the table. For those still chasing a spot on the World Team, the Event Championships are a much bigger competition than the Asian Championships, which means that Japan does not send its top performing team or all of its gymnasts best ranked available in Doha this year. the week.

The favorite for the team bronze before the competition will be South Korea. South Korea aren’t as spoiled for top routines as China, or as spoiled for depth as Japan, but given the Olympic performances of Lee Yunseo and Yeo Seojeong and a surprise 11th-place finish at the world championships of Shin Solyi, South Korea should have the routines in this year’s Asian Championships team to excel. At the national championship in April, Yeo Seojeong won the general division and Shin Solyi won the high school division (Lee Yunseo did not compete then but is back now) with scores that should place South Korea behind China and Japan but with a realistic buffer over everyone. .

Typically, we see Taiwan ranked 4th in the continent among the teams present, so consider the Taiwanese team the most likely to snatch the last team spot given what we know so far. This team doesn’t always have the full scoring contingent, but the results of the Asian Championships internal selection competition in early May were encouraging, with Ting Hua-Tien dominating the all-around on the first day of competition, buoyed by standout individual results like Huang Tzu-Hsing’s 13.300 on beam on Day 2.

These scores, dependent on realism as always, would exceed what we have seen most recently from the next group of teams competing at the Southeast Asian Games, where a team from the Philippines with Aleah Finnegan beat Vietnam and Singapore , but with some parity among these teams. globally. In the last Asian Championship in 2019, it was Malaysia who finished 5th as a team, not far behind Taiwan, but Farah Ann Abdul Hadi has since retired and Malaysia only sent two athletes to the SEA Games .

As for the Individuals, the Apparatus World Cup qualifiers earlier this year were a boon for many other Asian gymnasts hoping to qualify. Because these events have been so poorly attended, we will eventually go far enough down the women’s rankings to find enough qualifiers for the World Championships, and most of the people who have scored points at some point (especially on bars , beam and floor) will be vying for an apparatus spot at the world championships.

On the Oksana Chusovitina front, she has already qualified for the World Championships to compete on her own in the vault via these Apparatus World Cups, but she would have to compete in the AA at the Asian Championships if she wants to qualify. to participate in the four events of the world championships.

Also on vault, India’s Protistha Samanta has already secured a place in the world, and her Indian teammate Pranati Nayak is very likely to earn a spot on vault once the dust settles. Angel Wong from Hong Kong will also get a spot on beam, and Korkem Yerbossynkyzy from Kazakhstan is expected to end up with spots on a few events.

On floor, Dildora Aripova from Uzbekistan and Aida Bauyrzhanova from Kazakhstan have secured places for the events, but I imagine both will be aiming for the all-around here and seem to be realistic candidates for the 8 positions available (max 2 per country) , along with many others who competed at the SEA Games, such as All-Around Champion Rifda Irfanaluthfi from Indonesia, and Rachel Yeoh Li Wen from Malaysia and Nadine Joy Nathan from Singapore who both finished well.

As for anything useful like entry lists, start lists, scores or streaming, well… TBD? Gymnastics goes gymnastics.


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