Asian Championships Preview

This week/weekend’s Asian Championships will conclude the world championships qualification process, determining both the final continental qualifiers as well as the ultimate identities of the apparatus qualifiers, so there are a number of moving parts here.

Schedule – US Time

Wednesday, June 14
9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT – Men’s TF/AA – Subdivision 1
(Taiwan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Jordan, Syria, Kyrgyzstan)

Thursday, June 15
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Men’s TF/AA – Subdivision 2
(China, Japan, Uzbekistan, India, Mongolia, Indonesia)
6:00am ET/3:00am PT – Men’s TF/AA – Subdivision 3
(South Korea, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Iran, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Qatar)
10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT – Women’s TF/AA – Subdivision 1
(Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar)

Friday, June 16
1:30am ET/10:30pm PT – Women’s TF/AA – Subdivision 2
(Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka)
3:30am ET/12:30am PT – Women’s TF/AA – Subdivision 3
(China, South Korea, Taiwan, India)
5:30am ET/2:30am PT – Women’s TF/AA – Subdivision 4
(Uzbekistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Mongolia)

Saturday, June 17
4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Event Finals Day 1

Saturday, June 18
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Event Finals Day 2


Live scores are here and worked during the junior competition.

Paid live streaming is available here after you make an account. I haven’t used it so cannot attest to quality.

World Championships Qualification

Two team spots at worlds for both men and women will be earned at the Asian Championships, as well as 8 all-around spots for women and 6 for men.

On the women’s side, Japan and China have already qualified teams to worlds and have nothing left to earn from this competition, while South Korea does still need to qualify as a team and will be a heavy favorite to do so. With 2021 Olympic vault medalist Yeo Seojeong, fellow 2021 Olympian Lee Yunseo, and 2023 national all-around champion Shin Solyi (who also won the AA both days of the April selection competition), South Korea has put together a formidable team for this event.

In fact, with Japan continuing to do the absolute least in terms of gender equity and not sending a women’s senior delegation to this event at all (while sending a full men’s team), and China putting up an exciting but deeply nerve-wracking and untested team of new seniors, South Korea can legitimately target team gold at this year’s championship.

For the other team qualification position, Taiwan should enter the competition as the default favorite, having earned that spot at last year’s competition by a nearly 8-point margin over Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Scores recorded at world cups so far this year would position Uzbekistan as the most compelling challenger to Taiwan, though Uzbekistan is sending only four gymnasts instead of the maximum five.

On the men’s side, China, Japan, and South Korea have all pre-qualified as teams, so the frontrunners for the two remaining spots should be 2019 world team finalists Taiwan, along with the Milad Karimi-led Kazakhstan team that ended up scoring within a tenth of Taiwan in worlds qualification last year.

What If I’m Just Here For Chuso

Oksana Chusovitina is competing at the Asian Championships with an opportunity to improve her qualification pathway to this year’s world championships.

As of now, Chuso is guaranteed to qualify to worlds, but just as a vault specialist (with the serious possibility of also qualifying as a bars specialist, which yes, would be life-making). That would mean she could not compete the all-around at worlds, somewhat limiting her pathways to qualify to the Paris Olympics.

Should Chusovitina earn one of the 8 all-around spots available this weekend—or should Uzbekistan qualify a full team to worlds—she then would be eligible to compete all four events in Antwerp, providing her a chance to qualify to the Olympics from worlds as one of the 14 individual all-around athletes.

The all-around at worlds is, however, probably not Chusovitina’s best route to the Olympics. Last cycle, when there were far more all-around spots available at worlds, Chuso qualified as the 27th-best eligible athlete on the list. So, making the top 14 this year would be an additional challenge. Not impossible, but a challenge.

Really, Chuso’s best pathway to Olympic qualification looks like it will come from vault specialist spots rather than the all-around. There is one vault specialist spot available at worlds this year, and two more available from 2024 apparatus world cups.

There are potential challenges to both routes. We could see handspring queen Yeo Seojeong go the vault route again and snatch up that one spot from worlds. What if the Russians are allowed to compete as unaffiliated individuals at 2024 world cups? That throws everything into the blender. But vault-specific positions do look like Chuso’s best options right now.

What If I’m Just Here For Aleah Finnegan

Aleah Finnegan should have a nice shot at getting one of those 8 available individual spots for worlds. Her scores from last year’s silver-medal performance at the Southeast Asian Games would rank her among the top 4 eligible all-around contenders in this year’s field and would have qualified from all the other continental championships so far, so she’d be right on track given those same routines in a hit meet.

With China already qualified, two other countries qualifying from the team competition here, and the two-per-country rule in effect, there will end up being only a maximum of 24 athletes in contention for those 8 all-around spots, so a pretty large chunk of the field is going to get there.

In addition to Finnegan, keep an eye on Dildora Aripova of Uzbekistan, who has shown scattered moments of excellent scores at the world cups this year. She is also currently in qualifying position on all four events from those apparatus world cups, so if you’re a fan of chaos, her apparatus points suddenly getting redistributed would inject the most chaos into the world cup standings.

Southeast Asian gold medalist Rifa Irfanaluthfi will also be a frontrunner in the all-around, as well as Kazakhstan’s Aida Bauyrzhanova. It would be an upset should any of them not get a worlds spot from this year’s event.

What If I’m Just Here For Emma Malabuyo

Malabuyo is now cleared to join Finnegan on the Philippines team at this competition, though she has said she intends to compete only beam and floor at this point. That would mean her only pathway to worlds this year is for the Philippines to qualify as one of the two teams from this competition—basically meaning they have to beat Taiwan.

With Finnegan, two routines from Malabuyo, and Alabama verbal Kylee Kwamme (who stuck a Yurchenko 1.5 for 9.900 at Dev Nationals last month in addition to winning beam in her group) joining Lucia Gutierrez and Charlie Manzano on the squad, this is the strongest team we’ve seen from the Philippines. They should have a standout beam rotation, a couple competitive vaults, and some event final appearances. The biggest stumbling block is likely to be bars composition and execution for the non-Finnegan routines. If they’re stuck counting a single-digit score, that would be insurmountable.

What If I’m Just Here For Carlos Yulo

Carlos Yulo currently has the world cup points to qualify to Antwerp on four events—everywhere but pommel horse and high bar—but he still needs to qualify as an all-arounder from this competition.

He is the major favorite to get the first of the 6 spots available, having done the same last year with a smooth 6-point margin over the next eligible competitor.

Yulo’s best Olympic qualification pathway will be from the all-around at worlds, but he would also have a shot from the apparatuses at worlds, the apparatus world cups in 2024, and the Asian Championships all-around in 2024, so there are many, many ripe opportunities for him to qualify to the Olympics.

6 thoughts on “Asian Championships Preview”

    1. Japan sent a men’s team but not a women’s team, both are qualified to Worlds.
      Why not send a WAG team if they sent a MAG team. JPN WAG has plenty of depth and could have sent a B team for some experience here at this meet.

      It reads as sexism on the part of the Japanese Gymnastics Federation.

      It is unfortunate that the JGF does not value it’s women’s program as it does it’s men’s program. If they actually put effort in, the WAG should be just as successful as the MAG.

  1. What if I’m just here for Dipa Karmakar?
    Is Dipa Karmakar competing?

    1. Karmakar is currently suspended for doping, so nope not competing here.

    2. Karmakar is currently suspended for doping.
      So nope she isn’t competing here.

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