2023 World Championships — Men’s Qualification Day 1

The first four men’s subdivisions (of six overall) compete today, and with our new best friend allgymnastics.tv, I’ll be keeping up with bullet points of the significant happenings throughout the day.


Teams Great Britain, Turkey, Brazil, and Kazakhstan grace us with their presences in this one.

TO WATCH: GB has already qualified a team to the Olympics and will aim to position themselves as team medal contenders for finals again with this performance. Turkey finished 11th last year and will be looking to improve on that mark in 2023, but top-12 qualification to Paris is the big, big goal. Brazil is a returning qualifier that finished 7th last year, but without scoring leader Caio Souza, there’s some nervousness about how competitive the team might be this year. Artur Davtyan competes as an individual in this subdivision and will be aiming to set a high mark in the race for the 8 AA Olympic spots available in qualification. 

  • So that dance was our first harrowing debacle of qualification
  • No such debacles for the teams in the first rotation, though the second rotation brought news
  • DEVELOPMENT: It was a rough rotation 2 for Great Britain as the team counted two falls on vault, with James Hall putting his hand down and both Jake Jarman and Courtney Tulloch sitting their first vaults (and second for Tulloch). GB went 41.966 on vault, which is worse than Kazakhstan there. Hepworth was the bright spot, with two solid showings.
  • Turkey sits in fourth after 2 rotations because of horse, but honestly 39.432 is fine there for an event where they still don’t have the depth
  • Great Britain got it together in rotation 3 for a 43.165 on PBars, which is a hit rotation and solid score for a lineup without Fraser or Regini-Moran
  • Brazil, meanwhile, was able to drop a back 2.5 to front lay disaster from Soares and count the other three for 41.666 to stay in 2nd behind GB
  • On the events, Karimi nailed high bar to go 14.600 and into first there, while Davtyan is now first on vault obviously
  • In the fourth rotation, Brazil went through four whole pommel horse routines without a fall, which was a miracle in itself, but the problem was that did still include counting an 11 and a 12, putting them behind Kazakhstan, not to mention three points back of a Turkey team that took advantage of being on vault to move into 2nd
  • Karimi has been doing the time of his life through four events, with a huge AA lead
  • Also some guy keeps walking in front of the PBars cam and is giving big Apple Lady vibes
  • Also we have an equipment delay on PBars. Not saying they’re related, BUT
  • And Karimi missed on horse, and then Kurbanov was all over the place, and then Tulloch fell on floor. Not saying they’re related, BUT
  • Jake Jarman hit floor but a couple OOB landings have put him in 3rd already
  • Following an extensive PBars equipment delay, Turkey got a hit from Asil but then a fall from Onder. Then, Arican was going well until a preposterous dismount fall. I blame the equipment. This is why we can’t have nice things.
  • In rotation 6, Max Whitlock did what he needed to do on horse to lead with 15.266, and 254.193 is quite a nice result for GB considering how vault went
  • Brazil was able to use vault to move ahead of Kazakhstan but still  ended up well short of Turkey, which finished on 247.692, which we’ll now view as the mark for beat for teams hoping to secure their Olympic spots.


The second subdivision is Japan time, looking to laugh in the general direction of that GB score, but also the Ukrainian team with Oleg trying to come back and save the day, as well as the host Belgians.

  • In the first rotation, the judges said MARRY ME IN THE EYES to Belgium’s PBars for 42.865, while Japan had a…starting on rings…for 41.666. It should get better from here.
  • Meanwhile for Ukraine, Verniaiev almost died on a Dragulescu, landing in a ball on the ground, but Radivilov and Chepurnyi saved the rotation, moving into 2nd and 3rd in the vault standings respectively behind Davtyan. So technically Ukraine is winning worlds right now.
  • The second rotation began with a destiny fulfilled as McClenaghan also hit horse for 14.933 to go into second behind Whitlock, though it was also a curse because Filip Ude followed him with a fall
  • Also a curse for Belgium as all the dewy eyes of Pbars are gone now. Gentges fell on HB and then Kuavita went the wrong way on a pirouette, adding a big lunge forward on the triple pike. Belgium went 38.766 there, a low so far in the competition.
  • Ukraine, meanwhile, continued being the best team in the world as Kovtun and Verniaiev moved into 1-2 on PBars and Ukraine has the top VT and PB scores in the meet so far through two rotations. Call it now, everyone go home.
  • To open the third rotation of specialists, Petrounias petrouned his way into first place on rings with a 14.900, while Abu Al Soud matched that number on horse to sit in 3rd
  • Elsewhere we learned that Ukraine might not actually be better than Japan and China combined (what?) as Kovtun fell on the most beautiful Cassina and then repeated the element and almost swung his bib number right off, and then Stelmakh followed with two falls, and their top score was a 12.700. Alas.
  • In the fourth rotation, Japan announced that they have some lovely parting gifts for everyone as Chiba Kenta taught several high bar lessons for 14.5, and Hashimoto followed by hitting his Liukin to go into first with 15.
  • Sadly at the same time, it all went to pieces for Belgium on horse when Gentges fell and then Van Den Keybus didn’t get his dismount, as well as for Ukraine on floor when Chepurnyi and Kovtun both fell.
  • Also Israel is feeling like, you all have fun falling, we’ll just sit here whistling.
  • DEVELOPMENT: In shocking, breaking 6th rotation news, Hashimoto got only 13.266 on horse, which will see him rank THIRD among the Japanese AAers (also in third place)! Well that’s going to be something. What was a great team day of hits, with room to improve landings of course, just took a drama pill.
  • In 6th rotation specialist news, Tin Srbic hit a very nice high bar with a stuck dismount for 14.433 and 4th place. Meanwhile, Dolgopyat broke 15 on floor to move into first by 90 thousand points
  • Belgium finished an otherwise useful vault rotation with Nicola Cuyle vaulting himself right off the podium and would have gone into the judges if they had been sitting there. Belgium still closed the standings enough on vault to come sooo close to Brazil. But they will be ruing those counting falls on multiple events because passing Turkey legitimately could have been a realistic thing here with hits. The same holds for Ukraine, which did manage to pass Brazil.
  • But also, Hashimoto


I love that Japan is already like…but no


The US joins the party in the third subdivision and will have a pretty straightforward benchmark to work toward in that 254.193 from Great Britain.

Australia’s start lists have also confirmed that they won’t be putting up enough athletes on floor, rings, or vault to get a team score.

  • The US men will pretty much be dancing about their start on horse, with Khoi Young moving ahead of McClenaghan and into second with 15.066 and the team overall counting three hits while being able to drop Moldauer’s routine with a step down from pommel handstand and a struggle up on his dismount. The US ranks 2nd on horse thus far.
  • In the second rotation on horse, Australia did manage to put up three routines and got through them all, with a solid 14.4 from Sawant that goes into 8th for the moment and knocks out Petrov. Mason Stephens’ routine got bumped up from an 8 to a 12 after they recognized all his elements after inquiry
  • The US hit four rings routines for 41.699, a bit under their scores from worlds last year when they had Whittenburg’s set to rely on, but again a score that ranks 2nd so far on the event, while Uzbekistan’s low-D, clean-E strategy through two events is keeping them ahead of Romania
  • The US team came back in the third rotation to hit all their vault difficulty, with Paul Juda and Khoi Young currently winning the 2-per-country race over Asher Hong as they moved into 5th, 6th, and 7th in the vault standings. Juda’s solid Yurchenko double pike—chest down, little hop—and Kas 1.5 coming out just ahead of his teammates.
  • DEVELOPMENT: Scores broke during rotation four. I quit.
  • BUT, the news is that the US currently has a lead of 1.500 on Japan on the four events they’ve done
  • Now to the 5th rotation, where US men remembered that it’s not supposed to be going THAT well and had a good ol’ disaster, with a layout Tkatchev fall from Young for 11, a stay-on-ish from Hong for 12.2, and a Kolman fall from Richard for another 12.2. Only Juda saved the day with his hit for 14.166.
  • The 38.599 will of course take them well off Japan’s pace. They’d need to average 14.233 on floor now to catch GB
  • Moldauer started off the rotation with exactly that 14.233, then Juda hoppier for a 13.933 that was dropped, Hong’s routine middle was stellar after a first pass OOB for 14.300, and Richard finished with an exceptional 14.600 (after successful inquiry) to get the US to 254.628 and a few tenths ahead of GB.
  • So in the end, the US qualifies a little more than four tenths ahead of GB, with the US having one bad rotation on high bar and GB having one bad rotation on vault. Should be a good one in the team final. Or a disaster. It’s men’s. There’s no way of knowing.
  • Tyson Bull did cap Australia’s incomplete team performance with a hit on HB, but he goes 13.966 and will sit in 8th at only the halfway point of the competition.


Subdivision four is a goodie, with China flanked by Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany. How does this no-Zhang, no-Zou Chinese team compare? We shall see.

  • In the first rotation, China will be glad that vault scoring is so high and bizarre because that wasn’t adorable. Sun Wei almost exploded landing his Kas 2/1 for a 8.9 E score, then Su Weide had lunges back, and the Shi Cong went to hands and knees, and then Liu Yang sat down his Kas 1.5. 41.966 ties GB for 2nd-to-last on vault 
  • Nicolau Mir. That’s the whole comment.
  • For some reason, Mir’s performance put him in 8th place on floor instead of the Louvre.
  • In event news, Yulo is last year’s PBars bronze medalist, but his 14.666 is only going to be enough for 7th right now
  • Spain’s magical opening floor rotation is just shy of Japan and the US for the top floor score so far, and Germany and the Netherlands both breaking 40 in the first rotation is a good result for both. Germany is 2.5 points better on high bar than they were in qualification last year when they ended up 9th
  • In the second rotation, Shi Cong remembered which team he competes for with a 14.900 on PBars, but otherwise China had two 14.2s, which is fine but not their typical level, going 43.366, which is 4th on PBars thus far. Still enough to lead the subdivision comfortably.
  • To celebrate rotation 3, Carlos Yulo was lovely on floor (with one OOB) for 14.600 and third place on the event
  • Oh high bar, it was Su Weide’s turn to put up China’s hit with a 14.300, but other than that, they had a Kolman fall for Shi Cong, a wrong-way Tak for You Hao (and then a missed Stalder, and then a dismount fall, and then a 10.600), and a meh E score for Sun Wei
  • And yet China still has, like, a pretty good total going despite falling on every single skill of every routine
  • Meanwhile, the Netherlands was able to move ahead of Spain with PBars despite De Munck splitting the bars and Hagenaar sitting on them during a Tippelt, which undermined the score they were hoping for on this event
  • In the 4th rotation, Spain said NO THANK YOU PLEASE to a vault scoring advantage, as Mir put his hand down and Abad sat his. They did get a hit from Zapata on his first vault but he fully cannonballed his second
  • China stayed upright on their three floor routines, but landing errors will see them saddled with 40.833, which ties Uzbekistan for 10th there and will see them lose major ground to the top teams
  • Bart’s hair hit high bar, while Spain and the Netherlands and now in a position where they need to average slightly better than 40s on the remaining events
  • In rotation 5, I think Bart Deurloo’s leg had an episode on floor because he bailed out of his final pass, which we really can’t deal with right now. His calf tried to encapsulate China’s performance today.
  • China’s commitment to the big reached new levels on PH as Sun Wei sat on the horse as a political statement, Shi Cong got through for 13.600, and then Su Weide had all kinds of struggles and then a fall and got a 10.900 which has to count because they don’t have anyone else to do horse and China scored 37.466 there and is behind Spain, Netherlands, and Germany now.
  • Liu Yang and You Hao on rings to save the day?
  • In rotation 6, Carlos Yulo lands back-first on vault and gets a 0.000, which will eliminate him from AA qualification for the Olympics. He should still have a chance in the floor final. But wow. This subdivision, huh?
  • China went, JK WE PICKED AN ALL-RINGS TEAM FOR A REASON, as Liu Yang go into 1st and 3rd—although Sun Wei did knee-down on his dismount, at least it looked like to me even though his score is high, and they’re going to count that
  • China somehow got to 248.163 and fourth place, in ahead of Turkey. If China does its usual and comes back in the team final looking excellent, this will go down as probably their best deepfake ever
  • Actually make that 5th place and Lukas Dauser comes through with a 15.300 for Germany on PB to place first and bring them to 248.862 (!!!!!!). Yes, Germany beat China.
  • Spain moves ahead of Turkey with a 247.795, while the Netherlands is just behind them with 246.028.

Tomorrow, two of last year’s team finalists compete in Italy and Korea, as well as last year’s 10th and 12th finishers, Canada and Hungary. And France, and Switzerland. So there’s that.

26 thoughts on “2023 World Championships — Men’s Qualification Day 1”

  1. Thanks for the top 8 graphic! Now that we’ve gotten quals streams, the next fight should be for longines to show top 8 on each app and all 4 scores while the team is on the event!

  2. AA final is going to be incredibly exciting now with Daiki and Zhang not in the running. We’re looking at 85+ in contention for a medal, which means Carlos is strongly favored and Illia, Adem, GB/US gymnasts have a real shot if Japanese/Chinese gymnasts make even one big mistake. This will be the most wide open final in a very long time.

    1. Hashimoto will be competing in the AA. This was decided before the team competition once the coaches decided to use 3 all-arounders. The only question now is whether Chiba or Kaya will be the other all arounder.

    1. Australia really have shot themselves in the foot. Does Heath have another country that could claim him? They don’t deserve him!

  3. So Australia leaves off their AA champion- someone who has competition routines on every event, and whose floor and vault were particular strengths- and now cannot field a team score. Was this their desired outcome all along? Or did they really self-own?

    1. It was, actually. Part of their justification for leaving Heath off the team was that they didn’t think they had any shot at qualifying a team to the Olympics, so they just sent a squad trying for individual medals. (They still should’ve brought him, but we all know that already.)

      1. AUS Gym Fed clearly has zero common sense. They sent a one event pommel horse specialist instead of Thorpe?
        Sewant is a great gymnast and all, but there was no chance Sewant would qualify to Paris in this field, way too much depth. The fact that all 3 of last year’s World medalists are here (and much stronger than Sewant on PH) is just lunacy on their part. But whatever they could “justify” to keep Thorpe off. They aren’t even trying to hide their homophobia.

    2. Apparently they honestly thought that they had a better chance of qualifying individuals … given that Thorpe had the best chance to qualify for one of the AA spots cf to anyone else on the team. Yet GA will probably argue that Sewant was the best performing Aussie and so they made the right choice. LUNACY

  4. Got to say, I am impressed so far by this young USA team. Think it’s potentially their most promising for many years.

    1. I actually have to agree. Looks like the powers that be in USA men’s gymnastics might have finally gotten their act together. What a pleasant surprise. Of course I hope that it lasts.

      1. It also helps that NCAA uses FIG elite rules and a format of 5 up 5 count, so teams can’t drop a score.
        USAG can’t claim all of the credit. Hong, Juda, Young, Walker, Moldauer, and Richard all benefitted from competing in this format (Yul has graduated previously). Other than vault, most of the routines competed at Worlds were done during NCAA season.

  5. And right after mentioning my delight that the U.S. men were getting their act together, they had a disaster on the high bar. I should have known it was too good to be true. 😒

    1. Rather them have the disaster in qualifications and then nail team finals when it counts.
      So many years now the US nails qualifications (they’ve even been qualified 1st a few times) and then bomb in finals.

      1. Oh yeah. We have to hope that the U.S. men don’t bomb in the team finals. At least the U.S. women are consistent — consistently great, that is.

    1. Carlos Yulo peeled off during his rings dismount resulting in a really scary fall, lucky he did get seriously injured. Then he went to vault next and had that mistake. I wonder if he was slightly injured from the rings fall, or was struggling mentally from it. It’s so terrible that he got a zero on vault, it’s too bad he didn’t do an easier vault first to play it safe!!

  6. Why did China send Zhang Boheng to Asian Games instead of Worlds? He won AA gold in 2021 and was just behind Hashimoto in last year’s Worlds. He also scored super high in the AA at the Asian Games.

    1. China prioritized Asian Games because it was held at home and wanted as many medals (golds) as possible.
      The timing with Worlds was unfortunate. Had COVID not delayed the 2022 Asian Games, we would have seen everyone at Worlds here. Last year the Asian Games and Worlds would have had about 2 months in between, but once Asian Games was postponed to this year that was the conflict in schedules. Plus China was already qualified to Paris.

  7. Spencer thank you, you’re a brilliant writer.

    I love gymnastics, period, but the men’s events are so overwhelming at times. it’s nice getting some perspective.

  8. Intl Judges always let the USA men “win” the prelims. Then the score of the USA fairly in team finals.

    1. USA is 2nd behind Japan (at the moment) and had extremely fair scores, if you actually watched the competition you would know this. So USA isn’t “winning” prelims.

      USA has a history of falling in team finals.

      If they can hot 18 for 18 in team finals they will win a team medal and rightfully so.

Comments are closed.