This weekend’s T&T event is the Valladolid World Cup, taking place in Valladolid, Spain. There are 37 national federations involved, making it the largest number of participating federations and number of participants in a FIG World Cup, according to the event’s official Facebook page.
This competition is for seniors, both men and women, competing in trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double mini trampoline, and tumbling. It is such an exciting event, especially because individual trampoline is a qualifying event for both men and women into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Unsurprisingly, this event has the most competitors, with 99 men and 71 women, in comparison to 35 male and 26 female pairs in synchronized trampoline, 27 men and 26 women in tumbling, and 21 men and 16 women in double mini trampoline. All in all, that is a lot of competitors for one weekend! This event runs from Friday to Sunday, Oct. 4-6.
Gao Lei, the current world champion on this event, is competing this weekend. Lei has won the world title on this event every year since 2015, making him the one to beat. He also was a bronze medalist in the 2016 Olympic Games on trampoline. If you need to catch up on his talent, this is a great video to start with, as he nearly leaves the frame from jumping so high at the beginning.
The USA is combining the pair of Jeffrey Gluckstein and Aliaksei Shostak for this event. According to press releases from USAG, this pairing was not the initial plan, so it will be interesting to see how these two compete this weekend. They have, however, competed together in this event frequently in the past. Both men have lots of trampoline talent up their sleeves, from Gluckstein’s 2019 Pan Am Games individual silver and his 2019 U.S. trampoline gold (or the five years he won the event before this year!), to Shostak’s 2019 U.S. trampoline silver medal and more. Putting the two best U.S. men together is a strong strategy, and this weekend we will see if it pays off.
Double Mini Trampoline
Émile Chateâuvert is new to the DMT scene, as he just made the national team in Canada this year. His most recent competition was the 2019 Canadian Championships, where he placed fifth. Even if he doesn’t make the podium this World Cup, he is still someone to keep an eye on, as he is new to DMT and steadily improving.
Vadim Afanasev will compete in tumbling this weekend and has a good shot at securing a podium finish. Competing for Russia, this tumbler placed first in this event at the 2018 World Championships. In 2019 he placed first at the Baku World Cup, and looks to secure another win at this World Cup this weekend. Born in 2000, Afanasev is a bit younger than many competitors and therefore has fewer titles to his name, but he is quickly gaining accolades the more he competes.
Samantha Smith is a force to be reckoned with on this event. Representing Canada, Smith has taken first on this event not only at the Canadian Championships in 2019, but at the Pan American Games as well. She also took third in the Elite Canada competition, and although she has not placed nearly as high at recent World Cups, this could be her chance to perform a clean routine and break out onto the podium.
Team USA is also sending a strong women’s duo into this event, comprised of Nicole Ahsinger and Cheyenne Webster. Ahsinger competed at the 2016 Olympics and placed fifth in this event at the 2018 World Championships alongside Webster. These two are a strong pair not only because of their skills, but because they have plenty of experience competing together.
Double Mini Trampoline
In the double mini competition, Jordyn Miller-Burko is one to watch. She won first place in the women’s DMT senior finals at the 2018 and 2019 Canadian Championships, making her the best in her country on this event, consistently. She also took fifth in DMT at the 2019 Elite Canada competition, giving her a good record so far this year. She even took second on DMT at a competition in Valladolid, Spain, in 2017, so this could be her lucky city!
Competing for Great Britain, Shanice Davidson is a strong gymnast, and someone to make sure to notice this weekend. She placed second on this event at the 2018 World Championships, a strong comeback after a foot injury in 2015, surgery in 2016, and resuming training as recently as 2017. Davidson has stated that she wants to eventually qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games, and this competition is one of many stepping stones for that event, so she will want to compete well.