Koper, 1 September 2021 – The 16th World Cup in Artistic Gymnastics starts tomorrow at the Bonifika Arena in Koper. Qualifiers will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, and on Saturday and Sunday the best competitors will compete in the finals. The large number of participants, as many as 200 competitors from 30 countries, confirms the quality of the first international gymnastics competition after the Olympic Games. Tjaša Kysselef and Sašo Bertoncelj, Slovenia’s main trump cards, will also compete in Thursday’s qualifiers. For the latter, it will be the last domestic World Cup, as he is saying goodbye to his sports career at the end of the year.
In the Prestor Palace in Koper, the organizers presented the World Cup and the representatives who will represent the Slovenian colors at the competition in Koper. Before the competition, the executive director of the Slovenian Gymnastics Federation, Špela Hus, said: “We are happy to be back in Koper after a one-year mandatory break, where we organise the next World Cup competition. We are pleased with the large number of participants. Over 200 competitors from 30 countries are coming, and the Slovenian team is also numerous. What makes us especially happy is that all the partners who have been supporting us for years also stay with us. The Slovenian Tourist Board with the I Feel Slovenia brand has joined as an honorary sponsor of the World Cup. “
In the women’s competition, Tjaša Kysselef will compete in the vault, Lucija Hribar in the uneven bars and balance bream, Gaja Žabnikar in the balance beam and Lara Crnjac in the uneven bars, Meta Kunaver in the vault and Brina Plevčak in the floor exercise.
Tjaša Kysselef competed in the vault and ground floor at the last domestic World Cup, this time she will compete in the vault: “I hope that this year I will be able to improve my result in the vault. The desire is to fight for a medal, I expect at least the finals. Immediately after the holiday, I returned to the training process. The last two weeks I had some fights on the jump, but I managed to catch the right rhythm and prepare for the match as it should be. “
The coach of the women’s national team, Andrej Mavrič, is satisfied with the readiness of the Slovenian gymnasts: “There were no major problems with the preparations, they showed in transparent trainings that they are able to perform their exercises. We want as many final performances as possible, we expect the most from Tjaša and Lucija, so at least some final performance. The others will also fight for the best possible rankings.“
The coach of the men’s national team, Sebastijan Piletič, is also satisfied with the preparation of the competitors so far: “The boys are well prepared, this is our first match in this competition period. We have prepared well for the World Cup, but we will see what the results will be.”
In the men’s competition, Slovenian colors will be represented by Nikolaj Božič on the floor exercise, Sašo Bertoncelj and Luka Kišek on pommel horse and Luka Bojanc on the still rings.
The World Cup in Koper will be the last home match for one of the best Slovenian gymnasts, Sašo Bertoncelj: “It has always meant a lot to me to compete in front of the home crowd and for me this match has a special charm. In recent years, we have been feeling great in Koper. I am finally healthy, I train relatively normally and without pain. In the competition I want to show what I did in training, I would not talk too much about the results. The desire is to do two good exercises, the first in the qualifiers and the second in the finals. And with that, my sports career on home soil will end. ”At the end of this year, Sašo is saying goodbye to his sports career, and the World Cup in Turkey and the World Cup await him. “It will be different this year, I know that as a competitor I will be at the home World Cup for the last time, I also expect more support in stands from family and friends, because they know that they will not be able to watch any other matches.“
Qualifications will take place on Thursday and Friday at the Bonifika Arena in Koper, followed by apparatus finals on Saturday and Sunday.
Qualifications – Thursday, 2 September 2021
15:00-19:00 floor exercise (M), valut (W), pommel horse, uneven bars, still rings
Qualifications – Friday, 3 September 2021
15:00-19:00 vault (M), balance beam, parallel bars, floor exercise (W), horizontal bar
Finals – Saturday, 4 September 2021
Finals – Sunday, 5 September 2021