Australia wrapped up the Melbourne leg of the FIG’s Individual Apparatus World Cup in style today, with Alexandra Eade winning Gold in the Women’s Floor Final, and Chris Remkes flying high to take the Gold Medal on the Men’s Vault.
On a memorable afternoon at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena, the host nation managed to claim five medals overall, with the Chinese also ever present on the podium.
Eade’s face lit up to the sound of fervent applause as she nailed her last pass on the Floor to lock in a score of 13.333 early in the rotation.
“I can’t even describe the feeling of having every one screaming and cheering for me, it’s just phenomenal,” Eade said, whilst also crediting Australia’s new Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics National Coach – Mihai Brestyan – for recent improvements in her strength and fitness.
“It’s been a long time since I was competing on the international level, so it was great to nail both the Qualifiers and Finals and come away with a win.”
Floor Silver went to young Brazilian Isabel Barbosa (12.600), and Bronze to Slovenian Tjasa Kysselef (12.366).
Remkes had to sit and watch as his rivals all register strong scores before he got a chance to go for glory as the last gymnast in the afternoon’s Vault Final. He didn’t disappoint, sticking both his vaults to score 14.616 ahead of a cleanly executed performance from Chinese Taipei’s Chih Kai Lee (14.450), and Keisuke Asato (14.233) of Japan.
The Beam proved tough to stay on throughout the night, with several athletes experiencing a fall during their routines. In the end it was China’s Yile Chen who finished head and shoulders about the rest with a stunning routine and score to match; 14.466. Barbosa (12.666) came in second to make it two Silver medals on the night, with Bronze going to Chen’s teammate, Siyu Du (11.933).
Aussie Michael Mercieca added another medal to the Australian tally, winning Bronze on the Parallel Bars with a score of 13.866, behind two more strong Chinese performances from Gold Medallist Xiaoming Wu (14.833) and Di Tan (14.500) with Silver.
The last apparatus of the night – the ever-spectacular Horizontal Bar – had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Australian Mitchell Morgans was sitting atop the leader board right up until the very last routine of the World Cup, only to be beaten at the death by a remarkable routine from Japan’s Hidetaka Miyachi (14.600); a routine that includes the highest value skill that currently exists in the FIG Code of Points. Morgans (13.766) did well to take Silver, with Mercieca (13.700) collecting another Bronze to cap of a successful meet.
The Chinese team once again had a successful meet across both the Men’s and Women’s competition in Melbourne, taking home a total of nine medals, including four Gold. The host nation was just behind the Chinese on the World Cup medal tally, amassing a total of eight medals, including two Gold.
With the 2016-2018 FIG Individual Apparatus World Cup Series wrapping up in Baku (AZE) and Doha (QAT) this March, we look forward to welcoming even more nations to Melbourne for the 2019 World Cup next February. Excitingly, the 2019 World Cup Gymnastics Melbourne will serve as a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.