November 30, 2008

World Cup Final: Confirmations and Cancellations

Two days ago the FIG issued a statement listing the first gymnasts to have confirmed their participation in the World Cup Final, to be held in Madrid, December 12-14. So far, the following people have confirmed they'll make the trip to Madrid: Cheng Fei, Yang Yilin, Li Shanshan, He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan, Zhang Hongtao, Hiroyuki Tomita (who will retire immediately afterward), Elena Zamolodchikova, Anton Golotsutskov, Sandra Izbasa, Suzanne Harmes, Yuri van Gelder, Jeffrey Wammes, Yann Cucherat, Philippe Rizzo, and Evgeni Sapronenko.

Catalina Ponor in 2004 (photo: Amy Sancetta/AP Photo)

According to ProSport, Sandra Izbasa will be Romania's lone representative in Madrid. Catalina Ponor, who is (rather bizarrely) leading the standings on beam despite having retired over a year ago, reportedly told ProSport that she was "delighted with the fact that I'm still the best gymnast on beam, even a year after my retirement." She went on to say, "It's a nice feeling to know that you've maintained your No. 1 position. Sadly, I can't go to that competition even though I'm ranked No. 1, because I'm not in the right physical shape for competitions."

That almost sounds like she hasn't really retired.

Marian Dragulescu (photo: ProSport)

ProSport also reports that Romania won't have any male representatives in Madrid. Marian Dragulescu qualified for two finals (floor and vault) but like his KTV Straubenhardt teammate Fabian Hamb├╝chen, he has chosen to compete in the Bundesliga Final instead (no word so far on whether he's also "too injured" to do the World Cup justice). The other Romanian gymnast to qualify for a Madrid final, Daniel Popescu (vault), will reportedly sit out the competition because of a torn muscle in his shoulder.

Ah well. At least the Chinese girls will be in Madrid. And Sandra!


  1. Haha, the "too injured" thing. And yeah, I see what you mean about that quote by Ponor. I wonder if there'll be any streaming coverage of the event somewhere.

  2. We expect the event will be televized in a few countries (Spain, Brazil, and China come to mind) so there should be streaming coverage somewhere. We'll look into it!

  3. Igor Cassina will partecipate ;)

  4. Yay! We're glad to hear it. We know Diego Hypolito will also compete, even if he wasn't on the FIG list. Looks like it might be a decent competition after all...