5 Gymnasts To Watch At 2019 FIG Junior World Championships

The FIG Artistic Gymnastics Junior World Championships is coming up, and this event is especially exciting because it is the first time this competition has ever been held! Previously only senior gymnasts could compete in the World Championships. By giving junior gymnasts their own competition, FIG Artistic Gymnastics can keep Senior World Championships the same as they always have been, but also give the juniors a shot.

At Junior Worlds, upcoming gymnasts will experience the pressure of competing in such a big meet as they approach senior status and will be more prepared coming into future large meets. It is also a nice competition for junior gymnasts who may fade out in the future for whatever reason before they get a chance to compete at Senior World Championships. 

FloGymnastics wrote in detail about the nominative roster for Junior Worlds. Since then, USA Gymnastics hosted Junior World Trials and named the official roster. Team USA is sending Skye Blakely, Kayla DiCello, and Sydney Barros as competitors, and Konnor McClain as a traveling alternate.

The first ever FIG Artistic Gymnastics Junior World Championships is taking place in Gyor, Hungary, June 27-30. Every country competing is sending lots of tough competitors. Here are just some of the many talented gymnasts to watch at Junior World Championships!

1. Skye Blakely - USA

Skye Blakely is sure to make a name for herself at Junior World Championships. Despite being just 14 years old, she won the Junior World Trials and is the U.S.’s top contender going into the meet. She not only placed first at trials, but did so by many tenths. Her all-around score was a 56.500, more than seven tenths ahead of second place. Competing from WOGA Gymnastics in Frisco, Texas, Blakely was named to the team automatically after her first-place finish.

Although she is expected to contribute greatly to the team score and hopefully place individually in the all-around, she could come home with some event titles as well. Blakely is known for her strong vault and bar skills. She competes a double twisting Yurchenko on vault and has placed in big meets on both vault and bars. 

2. Vladislava Urazova - Russia

It’s hard to pick just one Russian gymnast to showcase since the Eastern European powerhouse has such a strong group this year, but Urazova is one to keep an eye out for. At the Russian Junior Championships in mid-May, she took gold on both vault and bars in event finals, as well as first place all-around with a score of 57.533. She also scored silver on floor at that meet. 

At the 2019 Jesolo Trophy meet, Urazova took gold on bars and silver on floor at event finals, and took silver all-around with a 55.200. She has a history of medaling at large competitions, as her routines are steady under pressure and consistent.

3. Wei Xiaoyuan - China

China has a strong roster going to Junior World Championships and has a great chance of doing well at this competition. Like Russia, it is hard to highlight just one of China’s gymnasts since the team is very deep, but one to look for is Wei Xiaoyuan. 

Born in August 2004, Xiaoyuan competed recently at the Chinese Championships and scored well, ending with a 54.150 all-around. Beam is a strong event for her. At the Chinese Championships she scored over a 14 on that event and placed on it at the 2018 WOGA Championships, but she has strength as an all-around gymnast as well, usually scoring high on all four events. In Jesolo 2019, she was less than two tenths away from scoring over a 13 on all four events.

4. Jessica Gadirova - Great Britain

Coming off of a third place all-around finish at the 2019 Flanders International Team Challenge in Belgium, Gadirova is sure to do well at this meet. Her 52.232 all-around gave her third, and she also took third on beam with a 13.166. Her vault and floor were above a 13 as well, giving her a good outlook on the all-around for this meet, and letting her contribute for Great Britain at the Junior World Championships. 

Gadirova has other international experience under her belt as well, having placed second all-around at the 2018 Rushmoore RoseBowl International. Gadirova is also the 2019 English vault champion and the floor bronze medalist.

5. Veronica Mandriota - Italy

Born in 2005, Mandriota is an important asset for Italy’s team. Italy’s Junior World Championships roster has gone through some changes, but Mandriota has been on it from the start. She is a rock for this team and will likely contribute many scores. 

Mandriota helped her team take second at the recent 2019 Flanders International Team Challenge in Belgium and individually placed fourth all-around in the junior category. She also medaled on vault, taking the bronze with a 13.933.

Everything You Need To Know: 2020 California Grand & Collegiate Challenge

The California Grand Invitational and Collegiate Challenge is coming up, and this huge club and college competition is a great way to kick off the 2020 NCAA season and showcase many talented level 10 competitors. This meet will take place in Anaheim, California, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The venue is recently renovated and is sure to be a gorgeous spot to host this huge event. 

Rookie Coaches Bring Fresh Ideas To NCAA Gymnastics

Last week, we brought you reflections from some of the most veteran coaches in NCAA gymnastics. 

Maggie Nichols Leads Oklahoma Gymnastics Into 2020 Season

The 2020 NCAA season is less than a month away, and eight teams, including the reigning national champion Oklahoma Sooners, will begin their season at the California Grand Invitational & Collegiate Challenge.

5 Reasons To Watch The 2020 Cali Grand Invitational & Collegiate Challenge

The NCAA gymnastics season is coming up, and we could not be more excited! First up is the Cali Grand Invitational and Collegiate Challenge, featuring eight NCAA teams alongside level 10 club gymnasts. The competition will be held Jan. 3-5, with the NCAA teams competing Jan. 4.

Everything You Need To Know About Robot Judges Used At Worlds

With all the history made at World Championships 2019, it was easy to miss perhaps the biggest news of all: this was the first competition that included the use of artificial intelligence and 3D sensors, “robot judges” if you will, as an additional judging tool.

Veteran NCAA Gymnastics Coaches Reflect On Past, Present & Future

The 2020 NCAA gym season is stacked with talent, and not just from the athletes.

Philippine Gymnasts Prep For SEA Games Pressure

When Carlos Yulo made history for the Philippines by winning bronze on floor at the 2018 World Championships in Doha—his country's first world medal in gymnastics—he raised the bar. When he made history for the Philippines by winning gold on floor at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart―his country's first world title in gymnastics―he raised the bar even higher. 

2020 Collegiate Challenge Ticket Giveaway

FloGymnastics will be be kicking off the 2020 NCAA gymnastics season at the Collegiate Challenge on Jan. 4 and we're giving away tickets to watch the event in person! We will also be providing exclusive coverage of the competition including a live stream and video replays.

Who Are The Young Gymnasts Who Earned Bronze For Italy?

During last month’s 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the U.S. won gold and Russia silver, but it was Italy, winners of the bronze medal, that captured hearts in Stuttgart and around the world. 

Team China Wins Big At Cottbus World Cup

China made a big statement in the final World Cup of 2019, winning seven medals across both the men's and women's apparatus in Cottbus, including two golds on both sides. Ukraine came away with five total medals. Oleg Verniaiev won two events while Anastasia Bachynska was victorious on one. Japan also had a good showing with four medals, including two men's titles and one women's.