Demonstrating Olympic Qualification Using 2018 Worlds as an Example

IMPORTANT NOTE- This is purely hypothetical. The ONLY teams to qualify in 2018 were China, Russia and Japan. NO other teams or individuals qualified in 2018. All other Olympic qualification will take place in 2019/20.

This is an article looking at how gymnasts will qualify to the Tokyo Olympics via the 2019 World Championships, using the results from 2018 Worlds to demonstrate how the process works.

1st Step- Team Qualification

In reality, China, Russia and Japan have already qualified full teams to Tokyo thanks to their placement at 2018 Worlds. No gymnasts representing any of these countries, even those who were not on the qualifying team in 2018, may earn an individual spot at 2019 Worlds. In 2019, the top 9 teams in qualifications not counting those already qualified, will qualify a full team.

So for example, the next top 9 teams at 2018 Worlds were:

  1. USA
  2. Great Britain
  3. Brazil
  4. Netherlands
  5. Switzerland
  6. Ukraine
  7. Germany
  8. Spain
  9. France

Therefore the gymnasts on these teams would not be eligible to earn any individual spots through the remainder of Worlds, or through any other means (Apparatus World Cups or ContinentalChampionships).

The reserve team would be South Korea, as they were the 10th place team after removing China, Russia and Japan. The South Korean gymnasts would be able to earn individual spots, however if one of the higher ranked teams subsequently withdrew, any individual spots earned by South Koreans would be reallocated.

Step 2- Individual Qualification Through All Around Qualification

Excluding gymnasts from the 12 qualified teams, the top 12 ranked All Around gymnasts )with the restriction of 1 gymnast per country) from qualification will earn individual spots. These spots are specific to this INDIVIDUAL gymnast, not the country, so in the case of someone having to withdraw, the spot would go to the next ranked eligible gymnast in the All Around rankings.

This doesn’t sound like many spots, but once you take out the gymnasts on qualifying teams, you go quite far down the rankings.

If you applied this rule to the 2018 results, the qualifiers would be:

  1. Carlos Yulo, Philippines (Actual rank- 14)
  2. Ahmet Onder, Turkey (Actual rank- 15)
  3. Andrei Muntean, Romania (Actual rank- 21)
  4. Park Minsoo, South Korea (Actual rank- 22)
  5. Rene Cournoyer, Canada (Actual rank- 23)
  6. Marios Georgiou, Cyprus (Actual rank- 26)
  7. Artur Davtyan, Armenia (Actual rank- 27)
  8. Ludvico Edalli, Italy (Actual rank- 28)
  9. Andrey Likhovitsky, Belarus (Actual rank- 30)
  10. Jossimar Calvo, Colombia (Actual rank- 31)
  11. Jonathan Vrolix, Belgium (Actual rank- 32)
  12. Ilyas Azizov, Kazakhstan (Actual rank- 34)

It’s worth noting that Ferhat Arican of Turkey placed 26th, however as his teammate Ahmet Onder ranked ahead of him, he would be skipped over when allocating the remaining spots. In the even that Ahmet were to withdraw, Ferhat would then get the spot, however if any of the other gymnasts withdrew, he would still not get a spot due to the “ony gymnast per country” restriction. (However he could still qualify an individual spot another way).

Step 3- Individual Qualification Through Event Finals

Excluding gymnasts from qualified countries, as well as gymnasts who qualified an individual place through AA rankings, the top 3 gymnasts from each event final will earn an individual spot, and across all 6 events only 3 gymnasts per country may earn a spot this way.

Important notes for this step is that it is based on the EVENT FINAL results, so if there are 4 as yet unqualified gymnasts in one event final, whichever one places the lowest in the final itself will not earn a spot, but the top3 will.

Furthermore, this rule is limited to gymnasts in the final and does not extend to qualification ranks, even if no eligible gymnasts make a final. For example, if every gymnast in an event final is from a qualified team, no one will qualify through that event final and those 3 spots will be reallocated to the All Around rankings.

In the case of 2018:

Floor:

  1. Artur Dalaloyan, Russia- not eligible as on qualified team
  2. Kenzo Shirai, Japan- not eligible as on qualified team
  3. Carlos Yulo, Philippines- not eligible as qualified via AA rankings
  4. Yul Moldauer, USA– not eligible as on qualified team
  5. Artem Dolgopyat, Israel – would earn a spot
  6. Nikita Nagornyy, Russia– not eligible as on qualified team
  7. Sam Mikulak, USA– not eligible as on qualified team
  8. Kazuma Kaya, Japan– not eligible as on qualified team
  9. Ahmet Onder, Turkey- not eligible as qualified via AA rankings

In this case, one gymnast has earned a spot via the floor final, and 2 spots would be reallocated to the AA rankings.

Pommel Horse:

  1. Xiao Ruoteng, China not eligible as on qualified team
  2. Max Whitlock, Great Britain not eligible as on qualified team
  3. Lee Chih Kai, Taipei- would earn a spot
  4. Sam Mikulak, USA– not eligible as on qualified team
  5. Nariman Kurbanov, Kazakhstan – would earn a spot
  6. Nikita Nagornyy, Russia– not eligible as on qualified team
  7. David Belyavskiy, Russia– not eligible as on qualified team
  8. Cyril Tommasone, France not eligible as on qualified team

One spot would be reallocated to the AA rankings

Rings

  1. Eleftherios Petrounias, Greece- would earn a spot
  2. Arthur Zanetti, Brazil- not eligible as on qualified team
  3. Marco Lodadio, Italy- would earn a spot
  4. Artur Tovmasyan, Armenia – would earn a spot
  5. Nikita Nagornyy, Russia– not eligible as on qualified team
  6. Vahagn Davtyan, Armenia– eligible but cannot qualify as 3 eligible individuals have placed above him
  7. Nikita Simonov, Azerbaijan– eligible but cannot qualify as 3 eligible individuals have placed above him
  8. Igor Radivilov, Ukraine- not eligible as on qualified team

I believe that in this case, if one of the three gymnasts who qualified this way were to withdraw from Tokyo, the spot would then go to Vahagn, so he would be a reserve of sorts. However I’m not 100% certain about this, so if anyone can find clarification please let me know!

Vault:

  1. Ri Se Gwang, North Korea- would earn a spot
  2. Artur Dalaloyan, Russia not eligible as on qualified team
  3. Kenzo Shirai, Japan not eligible as on qualified team
  4. Dominick Cunningham, Great Britain not eligible as on qualified team
  5. Nikita Nagornyy, Russia not eligible as on qualified team
  6. Shek Wai Hung, Hong Kong- would earn a spot
  7. Artur Davtyan, Armenia- not eligible as qualified via AA rankings
  8. Caio Souza, Brazil not eligible as on qualified team

One spot would be reallocated to the AA rankings

Parallel Bars:

None of the gymnasts from this final would be eligible for a spot- they were all either from a qualifying team (China, Ukraine, Russia, USA, Germany) or qualified via the AA rankings (Jossimar Calvo, Colombia). 3 spots would be reallocated to the AA rankings.

High Bar:

  1. Epke Zonderland, Netherlands not eligible as on qualified team
  2. Kohei Uchimura, Japan not eligible as on qualified team
  3. Sam Mikulak, USA not eligible as on qualified team
  4. Tin Srbic, Croatia- would earn a spot
  5. Tang Chia-Hung, Taipei- would earn a spot
  6. Deng Shudi, China not eligible as on qualified team
  7. Xiao Ruoteng, China not eligible as on qualified team
  8. Artur Dalaloyan, Russia not eligible as on qualified team

One spot would be reallocated to the AA rankings.

In total, 10 out of a possible 18 gymnasts would have qualified this this way, which leaves 8 spots to be reallocated to the AA rankings:

Step 4: Potential Reallocation of Individual Spots

Once event finals are done, if any individual spots have not been earned via the event finals, they will be reallocated to the AA rankings as explained above. In our 2018 Worlds example, 8 spots would be reallocated, keeping to the same rules as in step 2 of one gymnast per country.

In 2018, these would be:

  1. Stian Skjerahaug, Norway (Actual rank- 35)
  2. Oskar Kirmes, Finland (Actual rank- 37)
  3. Ivan Tikhonov, Azerbaijan (Actual rank- 43)
  4. Tomas Kuzmickas, Lithuania (Actual rank- 50)
  5. Ryan Sheppard, Hungary (Actual rank- 51)
  6. Nikolaos Iliopoulos, Greece (Actual rank- 52)
  7. Ri Yong Min, North Korea (Actual rank- 53)
  8. Adam Steele, Ireland (Actual rank- 55)

The next ranked gymnasts would be reserves, in the event that any qualified individuals ended up withdrawing (except in a case such as the rings final in this example, where the other eligible event finalists would probably step in).

These are all the spots that can be earned through the 2019 World Championships. Anyone who earns a spot this way is NOT eligible to earn a spot through the Apparatus World Cup route (and any points they’ve previously earned at World Cups will be reallocated, more on qualification through World Cups HERE) or through their continental championships. This is also true for gymnasts on the qualifying teams at 2019 Worlds.

(However Chinese, Russian and Japanese gymnasts who were on the 2019 Team but not the qualifying team in 2018 are allowed to do this. So for example if Denis Ablyazin competes at 2019 Worlds this will not affect his ability to earn an individual spot at Appatarus World Cups as he did not compete at Worlds in 2018 when Russia qualified an Olympic Team)

Gymnasts who were not on their qualifying Worlds team (including non competing alternates) may still earn individual spots via World Cups or Continental Championships, however at continental championships the spot will be for their COUNTRY rather than them as an individual- whereas gymnasts from a country without a qualified team may earn the continental spot for themselves as an individual.

I hope this is all clear and makes sense, but if you have any questions or need anything clarified please don’t be afraid to ask!

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4 thoughts on “Demonstrating Olympic Qualification Using 2018 Worlds as an Example

  1. Regarding the SR final, your assumption that in case of someone’s withdrawal the spot would move down the list of finalists rather than going straight to the AA list, was correct. The FIG has actually covered this in Qualification Rules (3 Sept 2018 version) chapter F – Reallocation of Unused Quota Places at the end of page 7.
    Withdrawals may actually create a tricky situation when there are more than three eligible gymnasts from one NOC in the finals. Only three can earn a spot and there is a tie-break rule to determine, which three. Let’s suppose there were two more Armenians earning spots from other event finals. Now, if Petrounias or Lodadio would withdraw from Tokyo, Vahagn Davtyan would rise into the mix, but since he would hypothetically be the fourth Armenian (not in our case of 2018 Worlds, but if we extend our hypothesis even beyond) the tie-break procedure needs to be applied. It works by placings. Since Davtyan placed 6th, he may end up getting the spot and the lowest placed countryman from another final would lose his spot, which then would go to the next eligible gymnast from another country in that another final, if there were such gymnast. So one withdrawal could cause re-allocation of spots in more than one final!
    The last thing to mention, we can actually include Shiao Yu-Jan from TPE, actual rank 58th, to the list of gymnasts that get the AA spot, because the spot reserved to the host country JPN would not be needed.

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