Medal favourites China, Russian Federation face off on second day
DOHA: China and the Russian Federation will resume their longtime rivalry, and kick off their quests for team and individual medals, on the second of two days of women’s qualifications at the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships here on Sunday.
China is defending their team silver from the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow, Scotland, while the Russian Federation will aim upward after placing fourth in Glasgow.
Chen Yile said she and her Chinese team-mates will rely on their performance quality — and one another — to achieve their goal of a top-three finish and an automatic berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“That is the goal for the whole team, so everyone will try their best,” Chen said. “We have confidence to get it. We all trust each other. We work as a team.”
2010 world all-around champion Aliya Mustafina, who has returned to form after giving birth to daughter Alisa in June 2017, should contribute leadership and scoring security for the Russian Federation.
In the team final at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Russia earned silver and China took bronze.
Competing in Saturday’s subdivisions, three-time world all-around champion Simone Biles of the USA and her team-mates set a daunting standard with a team total score of 174.429 points.
Based on their performances in qualifications, competitors will advance to team, individual all-around and individual apparatus finals.
The competition will determine the winners of eight sets of medals for men (Team, All-around, Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and Horizontal Bar) and six for women (Team, All-around, Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise).
The three medal-winning nations in the Team finals for both men and women will earn team berths directly to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo while the others will have further chances to qualify in 2019 and 2020.