If there is one improvement from the previous quad to this one it has to be the vault. In the past, we used to get rather unexciting vault finals at world cups with only one, or two world class athletes participating. Thankfully, more and more gymnasts choose to compete a second vault and the field is much deeper right now. The top contender for the vault title at the Osijek world cup is first year senior Marcia Videaux from Cuba. Marcia, who recently became the Pan-American games vault champion is capable of a rudi and a double twisting tsukahara and she executes both vaults with good form and sufficient height. She will be joined by her teammate, Dovelis Torres who has a double twisting yurchenko and a tucked rudi. A strong challenge should come by world medallist Jade Barbosa from Brazil who is making her come back to international competition. In the past, Jade has performed amanars and chengs but considering she is coming back from an injury, it would be unrealistic to expect such difficulty from her at this point of her comeback. However, a double twisting yurchenko and a lopez would be more than enough to make her a contender for the podium during this competition. An other strong contender from Latin America is Puerto Rico’s Paula Mejias, who qualified in second place at the vault finals of the Panamerican Games. Unfortunately, she didn’t deliver there since she balked her first vault and only received a zero. Before that, she ended up doing an easier vault than the one she had originally planned at the Anadia world cup so she clearly is not comfortable with her skills on this event. However, she is capable of a double twisting tsukahara and a tucked rudi and we can only hope we will see her performing them during the competition. Then we have the lovely Teja Belak of Slovenia, who has had a very busy year, competing and winning vault medals at multiple world cups before qualifying into vault finals at this year’s European championships. She doesn’t have as much difficulty as some of her competitors (her vaults are a yurchenko 1.5 and a front tucked full) but she has very clean execution and she typically is very consistent so she should not be counted out. Her teammate Tjasa Kysselef has a full twisting yurchenko and a front layout half out and Ana Derek performs a full twisting tsukahara and a beautiful front tuck half out. Hopefully, she will manage to make it into finals and represent her country the best way possible in front of her home crowd. European vault finalist Noemi Makra of Hungary also performs relatively easy but extremely clean vaults while Turckey’s Tutya Yilmaz is also capable of a double twisting yurchenko and a layout tsukahara but she doesn’t always manage to land her first vault.
On bars, the stars of the field are the British ladies, Ruby Harrold and Rebecca Tunney. Both athletes have not competed for the biggest part of the season due to injuries and will be making their comeback to the international stage. They both participated in the recent British team championships but neither of them performed on the uneven bars so we have no idea how their routines will look like. However, if past performances are any indications we have every reason to be excited for them. Ruby has been a European and world finalist while Rebecca is an Olympian and a European finalist and they have produced some of the spectacular combinations that nobody else had attempted in the past. More specifically, Rebecca has shown a church into a bhardwaj and Ruby was capable of a van leeuwen into a zuchold. Of course, since they’re both coming from injuries, they may not have regained all their difficulty back. They will be challenged by world cup medallist Noemi Makra from Hungary. She qualified third into the finals at the European Games but multiple mistakes cost her a place on the podium. She is capable of exciting releases, like a hindorff, a church and a jaeger and her toe on piked tkatcev is probably my favourite being done in the world right now. An other athletes who has won multiple world cup medals on this event is the beautiful Kristyna Palesova of the Czech Republic. The 24-years-old veteran has gorgeous lines and toe point and her routine includes a high jaeger, a tkatcev and a beautiful double layout dismount. You should also keep an eye on first year senior Marcia Videaux from Cuba who won a bronze medal at this year’s Anadia world cup. She still needs to polish her routine, but she shows great potential and she performs stalder full to tkatcev and an endo half + bail combination. First year senior Thauany Arajuo of Brazil is very unlikely to medal but she has an excellent chance to prove herself on an event where her country struggles and improve her chances to get a ticket to Glasgow. She has beautiful lines and some of her most notable skills are a maloney + bail combination, a (messy) gienger, a tkatcev and a double front dismount. She is not a great bars worker, but she has more potential than most of her teammates and she could be used in the country’s line up.
The balance beam finals should be very interesting since all the top contenders have similar start values and scoring potential on this event. The Brazilian women have excellent chances to qualify into the finals as well. In the past, Jade has shown impressive skills, like a layout step out mount and a round of + layout while Thauany performs a bhs + loso + loso and maximizes her start value by connecting her well executed acrobatic elements with jumps. Τhe top Hungarian athletes will also challenge for medals. Dorina Boczogo has one of the most beautiful mounts in the world and she shows impressive flexibility during her switch ring and sheep jump and gorgeous lines during her aerials. Her teammate, Noemi Makra has been a world cup champion on beam in the past. In the beginning of her routine she attempts an onodi + front aerial + side aerial combination and her flight series is a round of into a layout. Tutya Yilmaz also has an impressive level of difficulty and she is a strong contender for the final if she hits. The two British athletes have never been famous for their beam work but they have enough difficulty to challenge for a spot in the finals. Ruby Harrold, who has been a European beam finalist in the past, has a nice switch ring, an illusion turn and a double tuck dismount and Rebecca Tunney performs an impressive front pike and a switch leap + johnson combination before dismounting with a double pike.
On floor things are a bit less exciting, since none of the world’s best tumbler is heading to Osijek this weekend. My favorite contender for the gold medal is world cup champion Dorina Boczogo from Hungary. She performs a clean piked full in and a powerful double front and she shows flexibility and personality through her choreography. Noemi Makra has also shown difficult tumbling passes like a piked full in and a triple full in the past but she is not registered to compete on this event. Last year, Jade Barbosa had a gorgeous, dynamic floor routine which included a double layout and a piked full in and Dovelis Torres performs a tucked full in, 2.5 twists into a front full and two whips into a double tuck. Tutya Yilmaz has a piked full in, a triple full and delightful choreography. Tunney has a tucked full in and a whip into immediate double tuck and Harrold starts with a double arabian and a double front twist but neither of them seemed 100% back on this event at the British team championships.
You can find the list of participants here