The 2019 Gymnastics World Cup is being hosted this year in Melbourne, Australia, and will be a huge event. Just one year before the 2020 Olympics, having the 2019 World Cup in Melbourne is a huge honor for Gymnastics Australia. Athletes from 32 different countries will compete in the multi-day competition, where the first two days are spent in qualifications, and then the top eight athletes in each event move on to the finals.
Melbourne is a booming city in Australia where there is always lots to do. With many bars, restaurants, cafes and events to explore, the city is always buzzing. Simply being set in this location gives this competition an air of adventure and excitement, as these athletes prepare to compete somewhere so unique.
Feb. 21 and 22 will be spent in qualifications, with finals held on Feb. 23 and 24. Fans will see men’s floor, rings and pommel horse, as well as women’s vault and uneven bars on Thursday, Feb. 21, moving on to men’s vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar, as well as women’s balance beam and floor on Friday, Feb. 22. The rotations will repeat the same events on day one and day two of finals as they were scheduled in qualifications.
Aly Raisman, the second most decorated American gymnast in history and a two-time Olympian, has been named the official event ambassador for the competition. “Aly Selfie Sessions” will take place prior to the event on Saturday and Sunday, and while those not in attendance won’t have a chance to meet her like those attending do, they can check in on social media before and during the meet to see all the fun photos with this Olympic gold medalist.
Gymnasts to Keep an Eye On
There are so many big names attending this event it’s hard to narrow down the list of serious competitors, but at a quick glance, here are three gymnasts to look out for.
1. Vanessa Ferrari – Italy
Floor is this Italian’s specialty. The three-time Olympian placed fourth on floor at the 2016 and 2012 games and is now making a comeback after suffering an achilles injury at the 2017 World Championships in Montreal. Ferrari’s decorated resume also includes winning the all-around title at the 2006 World Championships and bringing home five first-place medals and one second-place finish from the 2005 Mediterranean Games.
2. Oksana Chusovitina – Uzbekistan
The only gymnast ever to compete in seven Olympics, Chusovitina began her international gymnastics career in 1989 and isn’t slowing down. The 43-year-old has represented three different countries (the Soviet Union, Germany and Uzbekistan) and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2017, the only athlete ever to be inducted while still actively competing. In her unusual career, Chusovitina has competed in 16 World Championships, and this year, she will participate in vault, bars and beam.
3. Yilin Fan - China
Standing just 148 centimeters (4-foot-10) tall and only 19 years of age, Fan is a spitfire on the mat. She claimed bronze as a member of the Chinese national team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Since joining the Chinese team in 2014, she has won bars at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow and 2017 Worlds in Montreal. Yilin will also be looking for her 2020 Olympic qualification at this event.
To Know If You Go
If you are headed to the event instead of watching from home, there is a bit more you need to know.
This competition is located at Melbourne Arena in Melbourne Park. As there is limited parking, viewers are encouraged to use public transportation. The arena is easily accessible after a short walk from the train station over the William Barak footbridge, and there are gorgeous gardens to see on the way over. Trams and buses are also an option, with Tram 70 to Wattle Park (stop 7B) being an easy option. If you prefer a bus, bus 605 (city-Gardenvale) or bus 246 (Latrobe Uni-Elsternwick Station) are both good options. For those who do plan to park at the arena, pre-pay parking is available and strongly recommended. Bike parking is also available, though you need to bring your own lock. More information about transportation is located on their official website.
Tickets are $29.00 to the public and $23.00 to members on Thursday and Friday and jump to $39.00 for the public and $31.00 for members on Saturday and Sunday. For anyone with a student, pension or healthcare card, reduced pricing is available. Reduced and child pricing on Thursday and Friday is $24.00 for the public and $19.00 for members, as well as $33.00 for the public and $26.00 for members on Saturday and Sunday. These are general admission prices. Reserved seating options are available as well for an added fee. Family prices for the whole crew are available as well, both for members and the public. Fans who want to attend both Saturday and Sunday can buy a two-day pass for the weekend, both for general admission and member prices.