2017 Worlds: all you need to know and what to expect!
On the men's side, Maxime Gentges will be the only representative for Team Belgium. His main goal will be to go clean and try to qualify for the all-around final. Maxime will compete in the 2nd subidivison on Monday 2nd October. Japan's Kohei Uchimura and Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev will battle for gold in the all-around. Uchimura, undefeated since 2009, will try to win his 7th straight world all-around title! In the apparatus finals, Max Whitlock is a favorite to win gold on floor and pommels, while Eleftherios Petrounias will try to retain his World title on rings.
On vault, Yang Hak-seon, the 2012 Olympic champion, will have to watch his back as European vault champion Artur Dalaloyan and Japan's star Kenzo Shirai should reach the final too. Oleg Verniaiev and Kohei Uchimura will be rivals again on parallel bars. The horizontal bar final should be sectacular with olympic champion Epke Zonderland, olympic bronze medalist Nile Wilson and European champion Pablo Brägger.
On the women's side, Team Belgium will be represented by uneven bars European champion Nina Derwael, Belgian champion Rune Hermans and first year Senior Maellyse Brassart. They will all compete on all four events in qualifications with the hope of qualifying for the all-around final. Only two gymnasts per country can enter the final so it'll be interesting to see who will make it.
Rune and Maellyse were close to each other at both Nationals and FIT Challenge, with Rune Hermans ending on top both times. It will be Nina's first all-around competition since the European Championships back in April where she ended in 7th place in the final.
In an interview on Sporza, Rune said she hoped to improve her ranking from 2015, when she qualified for the final and placed 19th. In addition to her all-around hopes, Nina Derwael is in contention for a spot in the uneven bars final. The European Champion has the 2nd highest difficulty score in the world with a 6.3. Known for her great execution, Nina has a shot at the podium, but making the final would already be a huge deal, as she'd be the first Belgian female gymnast to qualify for a world's event final.
No matter what, on Friday night, we'll have a brand new all-around world champion, as 3-times World Champion and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles won't be in Montreal after a year off. On vault, favorites are Canada's Shallon Olsen and American Jade Carey. On bars, in addition to Nina Derwael, Fan Yilin and Russians Elena Eremina and Anastasia Iliankova are among the favorites.
On beam, the field is quite open. Romania's Larisa Iordache is a fan favorite, as well as Catalina Ponor and American Ragan Smith. On floor, Iordache should be in contention, alongside Amy Tinkler, Jade Carey and Mai Murakami.
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