Final Challenge Cup of the Season Begins in Mersin

Göksu Üctas Sanli

The final world challenge cup of the 2020-2021 season begins tomorrow with qualifications in Mersin, where around a hundred gymnasts are on the roster to compete both for medals and for the overall challenge cup series titles.

In the women’s field, Csenge Bacskay of Hungary leads the series on vault after winning medals at three of the five meets so far, including the gold in Osijek, and silver at last week’s competition in Koper. On floor, the leader is two-time Olympian Ana Derek of Croatia, who also won gold in Osijek and silver last week, while Diana Varinska of Ukraine leads bars and beam, and while she won’t be in attendance in Mersin, she still has a strong chance at keeping her lead on bars.

Illia Kovtun of Ukraine leads floor, pommel horse, and parallel bars, and will be on hand to fight for the overall titles this weekend, as will his teammate Nazar Chepurnyi, who leads vault. Vinzenz Höck of Austria, who won gold on rings last weekend, has a perfect 90 on this event, so despite not participating in Mersin, he’ll pretty much certainly get the overall win, while Tin Srbic of Croatia, who won the silver on high bar at the Olympics last month, also leads his event with a score of 90 and should walk away with the win without attending the Mersin meet.

Turkey, the host country, isn’t sending any of its MAG Olympians, but they have six up-and-coming talents on the roster, including last week’s Koper p-bars champion Sercan Demir, along with Mustafa Arca, Hasan Bulut, Yunus Gündogdu, Mehmet Ayberk Kosak, and Kerem Sener. 2020 Olympian Nazli Savranbasi and 2012 Olympian Göksu Üctas Sanli, who won silver on floor at European Championships in 2020, headline the women’s field for Turkey, with Bilge Tarhan and Cemre Kendirci also expected to compete.

Qualifications will be held on Friday, September 10, while finals will be held over the weekend.

The nominative list of competitors is below, but note that the last update to the roster was August 19, and it’s likely that several listed will not end up competing.

Article by Lauren Hopkins