While American gymnasts are fighting for the chance to represent their country in a process more grueling than the Hunger Games, other countries are still trying to qualify for their Olympic spot. GymCastic crew member Stefane Victor compiled this guide of how nations will qualify teams or individual athletes to Rio at the Test Event on April 21-22.
- Teams that placed 9-16 at last year’s Worlds.
- Individuals selected by delegations of countries that placed 17-24 at last year’s Worlds.
- E.g., a country that placed 19th during Worlds qualification can send two athletes to compete for an Olympic spot in the Test Event’s All Around competition.
How it works:
- Teams send six athletes to the Test Event, compete five athletes per apparatus, and count the four highest scores (5 up 4 count).
- The top four countries qualify full teams to the Olympics.
- If a country placed below 16th at Worlds, it may send up to two athletes to compete in the Test Event’s All Around competition.
- The top 24 women and 18 men (one per country who are not on a post-Test Event qualified team) will qualify to the Olympics. Note: This spot qualifies the athlete, not the country. The athlete can’t be swapped out by their country’s federation.
Q: Is there any chance a great gymnast won’t make it to the Olympics?
A: Yes. Even though the Test Event provides two ways to qualify, if an individual/team didn’t qualify in 2015, it is possible a fantastic gymnast like Larissa Iordache (ROM) won’t be at the Games.
Q: Can Oksana Chusovitina (UZB) qualify as an event specialist at the Test Event even though she didn’t win a World Vault medal in 2015?
A: No. Gymnasts aiming for an individual Olympic berth (his/her country cannot have already qualified a team) must qualify through the All Around competition at the Test Event. This means we will see Chuso on all four events. But if you think she’s a one-trick vault pony, think again. Chuso has skills named after her on Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise, and they are NOT easy—a Chusovitina on floor, a double layout full-out, is an H-level skill.
Q: If Romania doesn’t qualify in the Team competition, does Iordache have a guaranteed Olympic spot as an All Around medalist at Worlds?
A: No. Only Event Final medalists have qualified a spot to Rio. Because Iordache medaled in the All Around, her country will have to qualify through the Team competition. As it stands, Iordache won’t be competing at the Test Event due to a finger injury, so she will not be able to earn her Olympic berth in the All Around competition. If Romania does not place in the top four at the Test Event, Iordache will have no way to represent Romania at the Olympics. So please, go light a candle right now.
Q: If Romania qualifies during the Team Event, will Iordache be able to go to the Olympics even if she misses the Test Event?
A: Maybe. If a country qualifies a team, it is up to the nation’s delegation to decide who goes. A gymnast can compete at the Test Event, help a nation qualify a team, but not be named to the Olympic Team. Only individual All Around qualifiers are guaranteed a spot, personally, in their name to the Olympics.
Q: Which teams have the best shot at qualifying to the Olympics?
A: Lauren Hopkins from the Gymter.net has compiled a best case scenario for each team. Based on her calculations, the four team’s with the highest scoring potential in order are; Brazil, Germany, France and Belgium. Read her full analysis here.
For you visual learners, check out Uncle Tim’s flowchart below.
See a bigger version of the flowchart here, and tell us what you think about the qualification process below.