To wrap up this weekend of gymnastics competitions, 20 gymnasts gathered in Zurich, Switzerland on Sunday, November 6th for this year’s edition of the always entertaining Swiss Cup. Teams from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Netherlands and France, as well as a mixed team of Brazil and Venezuela showed the return of many Olympians and competed for the trophy, giving the audience an afternoon of great gymnastics.Similar to the Gander Memorial that also happened this past week, the Swiss Cup has a different format from the usual gymnastics meets. At this competition, gymnasts compete as teams of two athletes (one male and one female) and their scores are added together for the team total. Also, gymnasts can choose which two events to compete in the first two rounds, with the top 6 teams moving on to the semifinal where they compete on yet another apparatus to reach their total score. After the semifinal, only the top 3 make it into the final round, where their scores start again from zero and each gymnast competes on one event, which can be a repeat of a previous one from the first rounds and semifinal.

After the first two rounds, Oleg Verniaiev and Angelina Kysla of Ukraine managed the highest total thanks to scores in the mid to high-13s from Kysla on vault and floor, as well as a high-14 on pommels and a high-15 on parallel bars for Olympic Silver medalist Verniaiev. Closely behind them in second place were Germans Kim Bui and Marcel Nguyen with high-14s from Nguyen on rings and parallel bars, together with a low-14 on bars and a high-13 on vault for Bui. In third place was the Swiss team composed of Ilaria Kaeslin and Pablo Bragger after scores in the mid-13s from Kaeslin on floor and beam, as well as low-15s on floor and high bar from Bragger. Also in the top 6 and making it into the semifinals were Russians Angelina Melnikova and Nikita Ignatyev in fourth after scores in the mid to high-14s from Ignatyev on rings and floor, while Melnikova managed a 14.000 on floor but fell on her jaeger on bars to score in the mid-13s. In fifth was the mixed Brazilian/Venezuelan team with Arthur Nory of Brazil and Jessica Lopez of Venezuela which counted hit routines from Lopez on bars and floor for scores in the low-14s and mid-13s, respectively, as well as a mid-14 on vault and a low-14 on floor from Nory after missing one of his handstands and being forced to improvise a little. Finally in sixth was the second Swiss team with Caterina Barloggio and Eddy Yusof, getting a mid-12 on bars and a mid-13 on beam from Barloggio, and two scores in the mid to high-14s on rings and parallel bars from Yusof. Outside the semifinals was the second German team composed of Leah Griesser and Lukas Dauser in seventh, Anne Khum and Julien Gobaux of France in eighth, Eythora Thorsdottir and Bart Deurloo of the Netherlands in ninth and Victoria Kayen-Woo and Rene Cournoyer of Canada in tenth.

In the semifinal, the Ukrainians once again finished on top with a 13 on bars from Kysla and a 15 from Verniaiev on rings, followed by the Russians who managed to recover from the first two rounds thanks to scores in the 14s-range from both gymnasts and the German team of Bui and Nguyen in third after a low-14 on high bar from Nguyen and a mid-13 on floor from Bui. Apart from these three finalists, Kaeslin and Bragger finished fourth with scores in the mid to high-13s after a fall on parallel bars from Bragger, Lopez and Nory were fifth after solid performances on beam and high bar for a high-13 and a low-14, respectively, and finally Barloggio and Yusof maintain their sixth place with a high-12  from Barloggio and a mid-14 from Yusof, both competing on floor.

In the final, 2015 Champions Verniaiev and Kysla retained their title with a total score of 29.575 after a 15.800 from Verniaiev on parallel bars and 13.775 on vault from Kysla. In second place were Bui and Nguyen with 28.925 thanks to a score of 15.050 on rings from Nguyen and a 13.875 on vault from Bui. Finally, Melnikova and Ignatyev took bronze with 27.800 after a 14.900 on rings for Ignatyev and a 12.800 for Melnikova on bars due to a fall on her jaeger release.

Despite their very different levels of gymnastics, Verniaiev and Kysla once again managed to win the Swiss Cup trophy, mostly thanks to his incredible D-scores across the board which were unmatched by the remaining male competitors. On the other hand, the Russians who were favorites for Silver or even Gold, made mistakes on multiple areas and finished with the bronze medal, allowing other teams with cleaner performances to surpass them. As the whole, this was a fun competition focused on team spirit and enjoying the sport, and results shouldn’t be taken too seriously as most athletes are still recovering from the past competitive season and preparing for a new code of points, and things obviously don’t look as crisp as they will once the new season rolls around. For now just enjoy these small beats of relaxed and pressure free gymnastics because soon enough we will all be stressing out again.

Full results here

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