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Posted 24.8.2022 in News

The scene is set and the stars are aligned for Liverpool 2022

A packed six-week period of competition has seen gymnasts book their places and lay down markers for the global gathering from 29 October to 6 November.

Munich played host to both men’s and women’s European Championships, staged 50 years after the German city hosted the Olympics.

The nucleus of the Italian women’s team that won bronze at Stuttgart 2019 stepped up to claim a landmark gold medal. Angela Andreoli, Alice D'Amato, Asia D'Amato, Martina Maggio and Giorgia Villa shook off the challenge of Great Britain to each win their maiden major international title.

"After our third place in Stuttgart we really want this gold medal,” said Asia D’Amato.

Alice D’Amato soared to all-around victory but picked up an ankle injury in the vault final that has ruled her out of WGC2022.

The host nation came up trumps with team bronze and apparatus gold medals for Elisabeth Seitz (uneven bars) and Emma Malewski (beam).

Trailblazing three-time Olympian Seitz will hope to upgrade the bars bronze she won at Doha 2018 in Liverpool, with 18-year-old Malewski also set to make a big splash on Merseyside.

Britain’s women are rounding into fine form for a home World Championships after excellent performances in Munich and for England at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Jessica Gadirova defended her European floor title in some style and Liverpool crowds will get to see her debut a new routine on the global stage.

Gadirova, twin sister of teammate Jennifer, said: “That was the last time I’ll compete that floor routine, so it was incredible to win the title with it.

“It will always have a special place in my heart. I’ll be working on a new routine after this looking ahead to Liverpool, where the crowd will be amazing I’m sure.”

The Europeans also yielded a trio of silver medals in the team competition, Alice Kinsella in the all-around and Ondine Achampong on beam.

The British men whetted the appetite for WGC2022 with a brilliant team gold, courtesy of Joe Fraser, Jake Jarman, James Hall, Giarrni Regini-Moran and Courtney Tulloch.
Tulloch said: “We sent a message to the rest of the world. We're going to do incredible things in Liverpool and I can't wait for it."

Fraser’s ground zero came with the 2019 world title on parallel bars and he won three gold medals in Munich, adding all-around glory and victory on his trademark apparatus to team gold. 

The 23-year-old, who also won a trio of Commonwealth golds, said: “It’s good to have those medals, but I would like to get (a world medal) on that roster as well.”

Tokyo Olympic champions Artem Dolgopyat (Israel) and Eleftherios Petrounias (Greece) restated their world-leading credentials in the apparatus finals.

Floor king Dolgopyat will now be determined to take the last step onto the top rung of the World Championship rostrum having won silver at Montreal 2017 and Stuttgart 2019 and in so doing complete the set of major titles.

Lord of the rings Petrounias will also go for an incredible fourth successive world title on that piece of apparatus at WGC2022.

The US Championships in Tampa, Florida gave gymnasts the chance to secure automatic qualification for Liverpool and produced stories galore.
17-year-old Konnor McClain flew to her first national all-around title in the wake of a slew of injuries and personal setbacks, making her an instant star attraction at WGC2022.

Also placing high in the standings and securing berths were Kitakyushu 2021 all-around bronze medallist Kayla DiCello, Olympic floor champion Jade Carey and Olympic team silver medallist Jordan Chiles.

On the men’s side Kitakyushu uneven bars bronze medallist Brody Malone won his second US all-around title to set up another podium push at WGC2022, while Donnell Whittenburg also qualified. 

Look out for the outcome of the official FIG draw on 2 September which will decide which teams and individuals compete in each of the five qualification sessions, from Saturday 29 October to Monday 31 October inclusive.