European champions Russia will start favourites in Subdivision 1 qualifications
DOHA: By literal luck of the draw, fans attending the 48th FIG Artistic World Championships will be able to enjoy and compare strong team and individual medal candidates starting with the very first subdivision in qualifications on October 25.
The competition draw has fortuitously divided the leading teams and individuals across virtually all of the 10 men’s subdivisions and 11 women’s subdivisions.
Recently crowned men’s European team champion Russia, who were fourth at the 2015 worlds in Glasgow and second at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, should start in customary daring style in Subdivision 1.
Subdivision 6 showcases team gold medal favourite Japan, who are eager to extend their dominant streak that includes victories in ’15 and Rio. Also slated for Subdivision 6 are 2014 team bronze medallist USA.
Interestingly, no team competition took place at the 2017 edition in Montreal, Canada, where Kenzo Shirai earned all three of the Japanese men’s medals by winning the floor and vault and finished third in All-Around.
2015 silver medallist Great Britain, who landed just off the award pedestal in the final in Rio where they came fourth, will launch their medal quest in Subdivision 9.
Japan, who didn’t field top stars Kohei Uchimura and Shirai at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, may be considered the leading contender in the men’s team, but perennial rival China look to send a strong message when they perform in Subdivision 10.
China won gold at the 2014 worlds in Nanning and bronze in 2015 and Rio. They took two gold, one silver and two bronze medals including first and second place in the All-Around final in Montreal last year.