The site (i.e., me) will be taking a short break for the rest of the week, but here’s a look at what to
watch follow, if’n you’re so inclined.
The University Games (aka the Universiade) begins Wednesday. It’s a biennial multi-sport competition of…people who have looked at a school before or something. The first two days of competition will be men’s qualification—which also serves as a team final—followed by women’s qualification on Friday—same—then all-around finals on Saturday and event finals on Sunday.
The competition is scheduled to stream on the Olympic Channel, and also at FISU.tv, which has some suspicious “free to subscribe” language that I do not trust.
Wednesday, July 3
4:00am ET/1:00am PT – Men’s Team/Qualification
Thursday, July 4
3:30am ET/12:30am PT – Men’s Team/Qualification
Friday, July 5
4:00am ET/1:00am PT – Women’s Team/Qualification
Saturday, July 6
8:00am ET/5:00am PT – Men’s All-Around
12:30pm ET/9:30am PT – Women’s All-Around
Sunday, July 7
5:00am ET/2:00am PT – Event Finals Part 1
10:00am ET/7:00am PT – Event Finals Part 2
The field: For the men, Japan has sent a worlds-level team of Kazuma Kaya and the Tanigawas, which is kind of not fair to everyone else. This is the University Games. Cool down. Still, athletes like Kim Hansol, Lee Chih Kai, Milad Karimi, and Heath Thorpe are also participating, and Turkey has sent Ahmet Onder and Ibrahim Colak. With just two athletes, they don’t have enough for a team score, though both should make marks individually. Because MAG college athletes are considered important to the US team, Alex Diab and Stephan Nedoroscik are also attending—Nedoroscik sticking just to PH and Diab slated to compete four events.
On the women’s side, we have NABIEVA, who is eligible to compete here because she attends the University of Your Mom’s Butt, majoring in This Bitch. That’s really all you need to know about this meet, but she’s joined on the Russian team by Akhaimova and Perebinosova. Japan is also not messing around in the women’s competition by sending world’s team members Hitomi Hatakeda, Aiko Sugihara, and Asuka Teramoto. They should score exceptionally well, and expect a strong showing from the home nation, with Italy competing Carlotta Ferlito, Lara Mori, and Martina Rizzelli.
While the US never sends a women’s team to this competition, there are some NCAA gymnasts participating. CMU’s Denelle Pedrick has made the trip to represent Canada—competing with Jessica Dowling and Alana Fisher—and Sara King from Springfield will be competing for Slovenia.
Ukraine will be looking for strong results from Valeria Osipova and Yana Fedorova, and I’m eager to see some other athletes like Janine Berger, who is still at it, and the likes of Farah Ann Abdul Hadi and Rifda Irfanaluthfi and some of the other lesser-program gems.
Farah Ann is joined on the Malaysian team by RACHEL.
And it is my desperate hope for all of time that she is legitimately just registered for this competition as RACHEL.
This weekend, the US men will participate in the men’s national qualifier at the OTC. It’s the final competition opportunity for the men before nationals—and also last chance to qualify for those who have not already qualified through Winter Cup or NCAAs.
That’s why I’ve taken to calling it Man Classic. It’s the men’s equivalent of Classic, the prep competition for nationals, which is why we will see people like Sam Mikulak competing here despite his already having qualified for championships.
“See” he says ironically. We obviously won’t see even a glimmer of this meet.
Others currently on the national team who will nonetheless use this competition opportunity include Alec Yoder, Donothan Bailey, Sean Melton, and Trevor Howard. Most importantly, keep an eye on the results from some of those major figures who aren’t currently on the national team, namely Donnell Whittenburg, who is competing with a little more on the line here to be like, “And also me too still though” after struggling through nationals last year and Winter Cup this year.