This weekend is the next stop for Olympics hopefuls at the Gymnastics World Cup stop in Shanghai. The action begins tomorrow with the preliminary competition, which will determine the eight finalists that will compete on the four apparatuses for the women and six for the men. Since this is a World Cup event, there will be no all-around competition. Tomorrow’s preliminary competition will be followed by the event finals on Saturday and Sunday.
With the Olympics next year, athletes from about 30 nations hope to impress the judges with clean execution and great difficulty. China hopes to sweep up all of the gold medals (like the women did last year) by bringing a very talented group or six men and four women. On the men’s side, China will send its current superstar current World and Chinese National Champion, Yang Wei (杨威). Joining him will be Zou Kai (邹凯), Feng Zhe (冯喆), Huang Xu (黄旭), Yan Mingyong (严明勇), and Chen Yibing (陈一冰).
Former Olympic team member and uneven bars specialist Li Ya (李娅) was slated to compete on her specialty, uneven bars, but a dislocated elbow ended her chances of not only of competing this weekend, but also at this September’s World Championships. Competing in Li Ya’s place will be Shanghai local, Xiao Tingting (肖婷婷). Like Yang Wei on the men’s side, the women’s side will have its own superstar with defending floor exercise and vault World Champion, Cheng Fei (程菲). Pang Panpan 庞盼盼), the “Oriental Beauty”, and Jiang Yuyuan (江钰源) round out the Chinese women’s team.
Shanghaiist will be in the audience to cheer on our favorite gymnasts (程菲加油!) and enjoy some beautiful gymnastics. That wasn’t the case at the last gymnastics event we attended, where a gymnast almost died. Luckily, Wang Yan is doing much better and we hope that her and our kind readers are able to attend this special weekend of gymnastics.
Friday, 1pm-5pm: Preliminary Competition
Saturday, 1pm-3pm: Event Finals: Men’s Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, and Still Rings; Women’s Vault and Uneven Bars
Sunday, 1:30pm-3pm: Event Finals: Men’s Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar; Women’s Balance Beam and Floor Exercise
Gymnastics World Cup in Shanghai
Shanghai International Gymnastics Center (上海国际体操中心)
777 Wuyi Road near Zhongshan Park (武夷路777号, 近中山公园)
Tickets: visit piao.com.cn or call 400-810-3721, (021)6374-8445
Ticket price: 30RMB for prelims, 30/50/100RMB for finals
Picture from piao.com.cn.