Release via FIG:
Stuttgart is a special chance for the host country's stars to grease their wheels before April’s Aquece Rio Test Event, where both the German men’s and women’s teams will be attempting to secure team berths to this summer’s Rio Olympic Games. The German men finished ninth as a team at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, just missing the eight-team cutoff for direct qualification to Rio. The German women placed 12th, unlocking their own opportunity to compete for one of the last four Rio Olympic team berths April 16-24 in the Olympic arena.
The World Cup marks the 2016 international debut of fan favoriteMarcel Nguyen, who will compete aside German star Fabian Hambuechen. Both Olympic medallists at the 2012 London Games, Hambuechen and Nguyen are aiming to get their Rio Olympic year off to a strong start. Also slated for Stuttgart is German veteranElisabeth Seitz, who finished in the top 10 All-around at the 2015 World Championships.
For German newcomer Tabea Alt, a first-year senior also slated to compete at the Glasgow World Cup March 12, Stuttgart represents a chance to perform before her public for the first time on the senior World Cup stage. Without an individual World medallist present in the women’s field, the competition between Seitz, Alt, Elissa Downie (GBR), Elisa Meneghini (ITA), Xie Yufen (CHN), Isabela Onyshko (CAN), Nia Dennis(USA), 2012 Dutch Olympian Celine van Gerner (NED) and 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion Seda Tutkhalian (RUS) is expected to be tight.
The highlight of the men’s competition could be a Hambuechen-Nguyen duel, with Caio Souza (BRA), Cen Yu (CHN),James Hall (GBR), Donghyen Shin(KOR), two-time World University Games champion Nikolai Kuksenkov (RUS) and emerging Swiss star Oliver Hegi(SUI) all chasing a place on the podium.
Stuttgart is no stranger to big events, having hosted the 2015 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships last September and having twice welcomed the world’s best for the Artistic World Championships (1989 and 2007). The 2016 World Cup, proudly presented by the Schwäbischer Turnerbund, will be bookended by the 33rd EnBW DTB Pokal, a team competition featuring up to five gymnasts per team, scheduled for March 18-20, also in the Porsche-Arena.
Coming on the heels of the American Cup March 5 and Glasgow World Cup March 12, the Stuttgart World Cup caps off the FIG’s All-around World Cup series in the Olympic year, offering the world’s top gymnasts another chance to season their skills in competition before this summer’s Olympic Games.
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