Chinese and Japanese announce their selections to the World Championships 2010
AGU office Doha (QAT) October 03, 2010: When you can afford to sit your national champion and several World champions and still come up with a potentially winning World team. Such is the predicament of China, which has chosen to make its recently crowned national champion an alternate for the 2010 World Championships. Guo Weiyang, who also won three gold medals at the Ghent World Cup two weeks ago, is apparently not palatable enough as an all-around gymnast.
Instead, China’s World team will be led by a pair of Olympic champions, 2008 rings titleist Chen Yibing and 2004 pommel horse gold medalist Teng Haibin. Both train all-around. Teng’s selection for the World team is particularly remarkable for two reasons: he has not competed outside China since winning his Olympic title six years ago, and he finished 12th at the recent Chinese Championships after a meltdown on the second day of competition (he had been leading going into the all-around final.)
2009 World rings champion Yan Mingyong, World parallel bars silver medalist Feng Zhe, Lu Bo and Zhang Chenglong complete the team.
The people who aren’t on this team are almost as more remarkable as those who are. Absent are triple Olympic gold medalist Zou Kai, who also won gold on high bar in 2009, as well as reigning World pommel champion Zhang Hongtao and parallel bars gold medalist Wang Guanyin, neither of whom have competed much on the international circuit this year. Chinese officials may believe that Teng is equally likely to capture the pommel title, as well as being more useful on other events. Ditto Feng.
China was in the media this spring when one national coach made remarks that he was not confident his team could replicate the golden feats of Beijing, when China’s men won seven of the eight Olympic golds given out in men’s gymnastics. Still, with so much depth, and so many specialists, team officials have a unique problem: how to maximize the number of individual medalists without hurting the team’s chances.
In this case, a few specialists who could be world titleists on one event but aren’t as good as others have been left out.
Japanese men: The team that is likely to be China’s biggest competition for the men’s title in Rotterdam was announced this morning, according to the reliable Dutch website GymPower. Reigning World all-around champion Kohei Uchimura will go for a second consecutive World gold medal, and will be aided by teammates Koji Yamamuro, Koji Uematsu, Kazuhito Tanaka, Kenya Kobayashi, Tatsuki Nakashima and the 2008 Olympian Takuya Nakase is reserve.