It is the first day of the first Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships, and a few things appear to be familiar.
Rosie MacLennan is the Olympic champion and the venue for this event is the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria – so you would be excused for thinking that you have just climbed out of a Back to the Future-type Delorean and are back in 2013.
It is in fact 2017 and it is now the 32nd World Championships.
And for the 287 gymnasts from 34 federations this is their chance to become the 2017 world champion.
But before that happens, first comes the qualifications, and day one got under way with the individual trampoline and tumbling competitions.
As day one began there were places in the men and women’s semi-finals up for grabs, with 24 competitors making it through to bounce another day in each category.
And it was a day that was full of ups and downs.
China is on a high after claiming the top team spots in the qualification events.
Solid performances from GAO Lei, Dong Dong and TU Xiao, who were 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively to secure their places in the individual semi-final, ensured that they were the leaders of the pack ahead of the team finals.
But in the individual competition, Russia’s three-time Ushakov Dmitrii blitzed the field with an impressive score of 115.260 to top the men’s rankings.
Liu Lingling of China leads the women’s event after qualification, with her teammate Zhu Xueying a mere 0.005 behind in 2nd, and Piatrenia Tatsiana of Belarus in 3rd.
There was a double shock in the women’s event, as Russia, who were a shoo-in for the team final, failed to secure their spot and they only have one gymnast, Anna Kornetskaya, through to the semi-final, due to some uncharacteristic errors from the other members of the team.
When members of the Russian team retired from competitive tumbling to join Cirque du Soleil, the future of its programme appeared uncertain.
But this World Championships has shown that the future is bright.
The new Russian tumbling team of Maxim Shlyakin, Grigorii Noskov, Vadim Afanasev, Mikhail Manin not only finished the qualifications as the leading federation but also claimed four of the to the top five individual places – and showing off a number of triple pike somersaults; full in, back, back, in the process.
China are in second overall in the men’s event but they are leading the way in the wonen’s.
After an extremely close competition, the final standings were as follows:
- Great Britain
In the women’s event, the teams standings are as follows:
- Great Britain
In individual, following a good set of runs, Tachina Peeters of Belgium and Portugal’s Raquel Pinto were among those securing places in the individual final.
The women’s individual ranking is a follows:
- Fangfang Jia
- Anna Korobeynikova
- Ling Chen
- Tachina Peeters
- Lingxi Chen (Not qualified due to two per federation rule)
- Natalia Parakhina
- Raquel Pinto
- Léa Callon
- Lucie Colebeck
- Rachel Davies (Reserve 1)
- Rachel Thevenot (Reserve 2)
- Marie Deloge (Reserve 3)
The men’s finalists are:
- Shlyakin Maxim (Russia)
- Noskov Grigorii (Russia)
- Afanasev Vadim (Russia) (Misses final due to two per federation rule)
- Zhang Kuo (China)
- Manin Mikhail (Russia) (Misses final due to two per federation rule)
- Steffensen Rasmus (Denmark)
- Willerton Kristof (Great Britain)
- Wesch Anders (Denmark)
- Zhang Weiwei (China)
- Zhang Luo (China) (Misses final due to two per federation rule)
- Browne Elliott (Great Britain)
- Austin Nacey (USA) – Reserve