top of page
  • Writer's pictureKensley Behel

MAG Podium Training Notes at the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships

Men's podium training, and in truth men's qualifications, are not always indicative of how an athlete is going to perform in finals. Regardless, there are still some trends that can be helpful!

The Good News!

  • Videos for Qualifying are happening!

  • Turkey looks poised to earn their first Team birth to the Olympic Games. They were one of the most composed teams in podium training.

  • Korea looked strong on Pommel Horse

  • Max Whitlock and Rhys McClenaghan both performed cleanly in podium training.

  • Carlos Yulo (PHI) looked VERY good. Expect him to challenge for a spot on the all-around podium.

  • Italy looked strong. Nicola Bartolini's floor was a piece of art.

  • Liu Yang (CHN) looked 100% ready to become world still rings champion. China was overall fairly laissez faire about the entire training.

  • Nicola Bartolini was stunning on floor and his corner transitions are like none other. Similarly, Lukas Dauser is the only person who should be allowed to do Makuts. His parallel bars are stunning and well-executed.

  • Ray Zapata (ESP) has been struggling on floor all year, but he stuck 5/7 passes in PT.

  • The U.S. had three athletes show two vaults in podium training! Asher Hong (6.0/5.2), Khoi Young (5.6/5.4), and Paul Juda (5.6/5.2)

  • Teams 7 - 16 are likely to be VERY close based on what we saw and make for a very exciting qualifications day.

The Struggle

Jet lag, new equipment, and the big stage are sure to bring inconsistencies and unexpectedness. This competition is no different.

  • Japan came in as one of the favorites for the gold medal, but their best athlete, Hashimoto Daiki struggled through podium training (PT) and fell on every event. They also had an injury in PT and will lose important scores, especially on Vault.

  • Asher Hong really struggled on still rings, vault, and parallel bars. The 19-year old also had a rough training in Liverpool and will be looking to make a similar recovery here in Antwerp.

  • France landed few if any vaults. Many were not close to fully rotated.

  • In fact, several teams had a rough go of it on vault. Krisztian Balazs had to run past the vault several times after balking, Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) didn't hit one vault.

  • Several athletes missed podium training due to competing at both the Asian Games and the World Championships. It will be interesting to see if Asian Games champion, Lee Chih-Kai (TPE) will be able to push through the jet lag to put on a strong performance here and earn an Olympic birth.

Changes to Lineups

  • Several countries like Belgium and Canada have opted not to use some of their best all-around athletes in the all-around during qualifications as they are trying to maximize their team score. This can pay off big and allow them more spots at the Olympics. It could also backfire and mean that a gymnast who could have qualified via the all-around is now going to have a much harder route to Paris.

  • Several athletes' health problems before and during podium training have necessitated line-up changes. Germany's Andy Toba has withdrawn due to a knee injury on floor. Japan's Miwa Teppei also injured his shoulder in training; He will be replaced by Sugimoto. Brazil's Arthur Zanetti is unable to compete due to the flu, meaning Brazil will be competing with a fairly depleted team.

Full Podcast Preview!

Need more men's gymnastics in your life? We have a one-hour preview show of everything to expect during qualifications and finals!

YouTube Interviews and Podium Training Videos

Want more updates? Head to our YouTube page for podium training and interviews!

Article by: Kensley Behel


Love men's gymnastics coverage? So do we! And we need your help!

Covering the World Gymnastics Championships cost $1,679.80. A full breakdown can be found here. A big thank you to those who have donated! We are still looking for $1,334.41 to help cover our expenses!

Would you consider donating even $10 to help us bring you live coverage from the World Championships? It would mean so much!

1 Comment

Sep 29, 2023

Any plans to put the podcasts on podcast players so we can listen on the go?

bottom of page