Qualifications at the Cottbus Challenge Cup in Cottbus, Germany, continued Friday with the men competing on vault, parallel bars, and high bar, and the women on balance beam and floor.
In the battle for the Netherland’s Olympic nomination, Epke Zonderland made a statement by scoring 15.025/6.0 on parallel bars and 15.000/6.7 on high bar, thereby qualifying for both finals; his score also meant he had met the readiness mark set by the Dutch NOC. Meanwhile, challenger Jeffrey Wammes averaged 15.837 on vault to reach that final, but failed to do so on floor (14.025/6.1) or high bar (14.800/6.3).
Spain’s Isaac Botella led the vaulting qualifiers with two well-performed vaults for a 15.975; with two 6.6 vaults, only two finalists vaulted lower combined values. Dzmitry Kaspiarovich of Belarus also reached the final, meaning each of the country’s three contender’s for its Olympic nomination will compete in a final; on Thursday, Andrey Likhovitskey and Aliaksandr Tsarevich qualified to the pommel horse final.
Hamilton Sabot continues in France’s tradition of elegant parallel bars workers and was the top placed finisher on the apparatus here, where the finals line-up also includes multiple European and world champion Mitja Petkovsek (SLO).
Paul Ruggeri (USA) bounced back from a disappointing outing on floor Thursday to finish first in high bar qualifying with a 15.725/7.1. Teammate John Orozco continued with his mixed results, meeting disaster on parallel bars (14.275/6.6) but qualifying in third place on high bar (15.175/6.4).
On the women’s side, Greece’s Vasiliki Millousi continues to establish herself as a possible balance beam finalist in London, leading the field today with a 14.300/8.3. Brittany Rogers and Dominique Pegg also reached the final, extending the impressive year Canadians have had. Pegg also qualified to the floor final today, and both athletes qualified to the vault final yesterday.
Former world floor finalist Diana Chelaru (ROU) was the top scorer on that event today with a 14.025/5.8.
Competition continues Saturday with the men’s finals on floor exercise, pommel horse, and rings, and the women on balance beam and floor, and concludes Sunday with the remaining finals.