A Look at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships
The 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships took place in Stuttgart, Germany between 4 and 13 October with the Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle playing host. It was the third time since 1989 that Stuttgart had the honour of hosting this event and the city hasn’t let us down in the past. They certainly didn’t let us down in 2019 either. Germany has hosted the championships no less than five times in the past and followers went in confident they would be well treated.
A total of 92 federations descended on Stuttgart for the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships with the participants made up of 288 men and 259 women. Would the championships live up to the legacy of the 2018 version in Doha? It’s safe to say this year’s renewal certainly ran it very close indeed.
The opening ceremony took place on Thursday 3 October and it was a grand event that set the mood for what lay ahead. We got started with the women’s qualifying rounds on Friday and Saturday before the men got their chance to qualify over the course of Sunday and Monday. Tuesday was when things really began to get serious.
Tuesday 8 October brought the women’s team final which threw together the best eight qualifiers. Then we saw the men’s team final 24 hours later and that boasted the top 24 qualifiers. The rest of the week went as follows, Thursday women’s individual all-around final, Friday men’s individual all-around final, Saturday and Sunday apparatus finals. The closing ceremony when brought the curtain down later on Sunday, rounding off what was a memorable 10 days of World Artistic Gymnastics.
Team GB Claims Glory in the Pommel Horse
In the men’s team event, we saw Russia come good, ahead of China and Japan. Nikita Nagornyy won the individual all-around gold, Carlos Yulo claiming the top step in the floor. There was success for Team GB as Max Whitlock won the pommel horse, seeing off the challenge of Lee Chih-kai and Rhys McClenaghan. Ibrahim Colak of Turkey was standout in the rings too.
The women’s team event was won by the USA who bettered Russia and Italy in what was a fascinating chase for gold. Simone Biles took the individual all-around gold, the same athlete also claiming the vault top prize in what was a successful week. Nina Derawael beat Britain’s Becky Downie in the uneven bars, knocking American Sunisa Lee into third.
It was little surprise to see Team USA race into an early lead in the overall medals table and on the final day of action they boasted a total of three golds, one silver and a bronze heading into the final few challenges. A total of five medals had them joined by Russia in second, the latter showing two golds, two silvers and a bronze. Great Britain wasn’t to be shaken off either and celebrated a super Saturday of results on the penultimate day of play. They were poised to strike going into Sunday, their tally showing one gold, one silver and one bronze.
Could they strike in the last few events to take the top spot and finish as the most successful team at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships? They certainly went close, but it wasn’t to be.
Medals Galore for Team GB on Super Saturday in Stuttgart
It was a Saturday to remember for Team GB in Stuttgart as they hauled in gold, silver and bronze medals. It all began with that stunning win for Max Whitlock who became a three-time world champion when cementing gold in the pommel horse. That set the pace for the afternoon and his cheers were backed up by that of Becky Downie who landed what was the first world medal of her career with a silver in the uneven bars. It turned out to be a family affair as sister Ellie Downie completed the medal charge with a bronze in the vault thanks to a couple of eye-catching efforts.
Speaking to the press at the end of his winning performance, Max Whitlock couldn’t hide his joy. He told the British sporting press it was a tough final full of great competitors with the margins for error very low. He benefited from a great camp, however, and gave a special mention to the team’s preparations which he thought made all the difference.
To make his achievement all the more impressive he did it despite making an error very early on, showing great character to recover from that and get his performance just right.
Downie Thanks Those Who Stuck With Her
There was a similar feeling of ecstasy for Becky Downie who couldn’t believe her long wait was finally at an end. The emotional athlete reflected on the years of training, competing and preparation that went into winning this medal and she’ll hope that now she has finally landed the prize, more will come. Becky gave special thanks to those who have stuck with her and supported her journey during the good and bad times.
Sister Ellie, having produced two of the best vaults of her career, and admitted nerves almost ruined her chances. She too reflected back on the work that went into winning a medal and said there are no words that come with the achievement. It’ll surely take some time for the realisation to hit home that all three competitors have won world medals and done Team GB proud on the big stage.
A special mention should also go to Dom Cunningham who came incredibly close to joining his team on the podium. He was fiercely competitive in the floor final and looked on track to push the leaders all the way but made the mistake of placing his hands on the floor and that brought a points deduction that cost him his chance.
When the final tallies were announced it was, perhaps, a little unfair and largely disappointing to see Cunningham finish no higher than eighth. The margin for error at this level is almost non-existent but the athletes know that going in and wouldn’t have it any other way. This is the best of the best and only the cream of the crop will secure a medal. All Dom can do is take encouragement from his performance and in knowing he pushed some talented athletes very close indeed. We’re sure he’ll be back for more.
History Made by Team Turkey as Colak Lands Gold
History was made by the Turkish team who won their first gold medal in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Ibrahim Colak was entered into the record books as the first Turkish man to win gold when scooping the gold medal on men’s ring, sparking joyous scenes amongst his teammates and coaches.
The 24-year-old recorded a score of 14,933 points and that was enough to see off the competition, nicking it by a winning margin of 0,033 points from runner up Marco Lodadio of Team Italy. For as close as the margin was, however, we did end up with a deserving champion and there were no arguments about the result.
Not only did Turkey’s new sporting star Ibrahim Colak win the gold medal, he also secured his spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and he’s a name worth noting down for future reference. Sports bettors who enjoy following the form when it comes to the Olympic Games betting are advised to keep an eye out for Colak in the hope of backing him in Tokyo at a decent price.