The 2022 world championships are almost here, and this year’s edition is full of names you’ve either seen before or are going to be seeing a lot in the coming collegiate seasons. With over 20 athletes competing with NCAA ties, we’re breaking down who will be competing in Liverpool and when to watch them. Qualification will take place between October 29 and 31, splitting WAG into the first two days and MAG on the third.
Stay tuned to FIG’s streaming and scoring platforms, as well as any that are available in your country to watch the action unfold in real time. All finals will be streamed on Peacock for those with access.
Women’s Subdivision 1 – Oct. 29, 3 p.m. ET
Shilese Jones, USA (Florida, class of 2024 recruit)
After qualifying via all-around placement at the selection camp last week, Jones is poised to make a large impact for Team USA at her first world championships. She registered a 14.700 on bars at the recent Paris World Cup, setting her up as an individual event medal hopeful on top of being an all-arounder to watch for.
Jade Carey, USA (Oregon State)
Carey will be competing at her third world championships and is coming into it as the reigning Olympic floor champion. She lays claim to four prior worlds medals between team, vault and floor from the previous quad after a notably fast yet well-paced transition from level 10 to elite. After competing every event in Tokyo and for her entire standout freshman season last year at Oregon State, fans may be treated to more of her in the all-around in Liverpool.
Leanne Wong, USA (Florida)
Gator sophomore Wong joins the world team after controversially not being named to the national team this past summer. She will compete as the reigning world all-around silver medalist and floor bronze medalist but is up against a deeper field in 2022 than in 2021. Of note, she unveiled a second vault entry while competing as a freshman for the Florida Gators, doing a Podkopayeva, which could allow her eligibility into vault rankings should she compete on the event and perform both variations in qualification.
Jordan Chiles, USA (UCLA)
A star sophomore for the Bruins, Chiles will be competing at her first world championships since turning senior in 2017. She is recognized for her week-in-week-out consistency and maintaining difficulty in her collegiate routines—even competing skills such as a double pike beam dismount and Chusovitina on floor.
Lexi Zeiss, USA (LSU, class of 2024 recruit)
Zeiss will travel with Team USA as an alternate for worlds after rising through the ranks this summer from competing at her first senior nationals. If she is called up to compete, she has potential to make an impact on bars and beam, going as high as 13.400 on the latter internationally this year en route to a Pan American championships event bronze and all-around silver.
Skye Blakely, USA (Florida, class of 2024 recruit)
Skye Blakely comes in as the dark horse of the American team, but has no true weak event and could cause an upset with hit routines. At worlds selection camp she recorded the best single-day and two-day beam scores, at 14.550 and 28.100, respectively. Gator fans will have to be patient, as Blakely will likely defer her freshman year until after making a run for Paris in 2024.
Women’s Subdivision 4 – Oct. 30, 7 a.m. ET
Csenge Bácskay, Hungary (Nebraska)
Collegiate freshman Bácskay has been a presence since earning a Youth Olympics vault medal in 2018. Since then she’s been no stranger to international vault finals, using her Yurchenko one and a half and Tsuk full. Both have given her strong results—including silver medals at both the Doha and the Baku world cups this year—and similarly one of them should see lineup time for the Huskers this winter.
Women’s Subdivision 5 – Oct. 30, 8:45 a.m. ET
Shallon Olsen, Canada (Alabama)
Alongside Ellie Black, Olsen is one of the Canadian athletes who seemingly never misses a major assignment. For years she’s held the country’s highest two vault start values, and lays claim to the women’s program’s only competed Amanar. She brings plenty of experience to the team, having competed at two Olympic Games and three world championships, plus for four years of NCAA experience at Alabama where she has boasted career highs of 9.950 on vault and beam and 9.925 on floor.
UPDATE: On October 27th Gymnastics Canada released a statement that Olsen will not be competing, following her mother’s unexpected passing. She will be replaced by alternate Laurie Denommée.
Denelle Pedrick, Canada (Central Michigan)
Pedrick’s fluidity and under-the-radar upgrades rostered her on the national team for the first time after graduating from Central Michigan—where she competed in the NCAA during the collegiate season before returning to Saskatchewan to compete level 10 each spring. Earlier this year, she won silver in the all-around at the Canadian championships, as well as gold on vault at the DTB Pokal Team Challenge. Watch for her standout twisting form and her new eponymous free-hip Pak transition on bars.
Sydney Turner, Canada (Iowa, class of 2023 recruit)
Four-star recruit Turner will join the Hawkeyes in a year’s time, but before then she’s making the most of senior assignments for Canada. She’ll bring strength to the team on bars and beam, where she holds world cup silver medals on both events from her most recent assignment in Szombathely.
Emma Spence, Canada (Nebraska)
Nebraska’s freshman phenom in 2022 will at last cross the world championships off of her list this month, after already notching every other major Canadian assignment: Youth Olympics, Olympic alternate, Commonwealths and Pan American championships. Having competed all-around for her entire freshman campaign, Spence holds a high of 39.375.
Women’s Subdivision 6 – Oct. 30, 10:15 a.m. ET
Annalise Newman-Achee, Trinidad and Tobago (California, class of 2023 recruit)
Five-star recruit Newman-Achee is a level 10 standout. A New Jersey state and Region 7 regional champion, she boasts a career high 9.900 on bars and 38.925 in the all-around. A former U.S. junior elite, she’s been competing for Trinidad and Tobago since 2021, making appearances at the Pan American championships both years, as well as at the Commonwealth Games this summer.
Women’s Subdivision 7 – Oct. 30, 1 p.m ET
Kaia Tanskanen, Finland (Missouri, class of 2023 recruit)
Tanskanen stays busy as ever, currently competing level 10 (with a second-place finish in the all-around at 2022 nationals) while representing the Finnish national team. She doesn’t have a weak event and has gone shy of 49 all-around this summer. Her dynamic tumbling is a major asset to Team Finland and will be very welcome when she joins the Missouri Tigers as a four-star recruit in 2024.
Women’s Subdivision 10 – Oct. 30, 5:45 p.m. ET
Ondine Achampong, Great Britain (California, class of 2024 recruit)
Five-star recruit Achampong brings serious beam and floor depth for Team GB, notably coming off of silver medals at the 2022 European championships and the Commonwealth Games on the two events, respectively. The 2021 British champion and 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalist in the all-around will also seek to qualify to her first all-around final, as well as to event finals on her two pet events. Her 14-range DTY on vault will provide a big cushion in team scenarios and will be helpful at her first world championships.
Men’s Subdivision 1 – Oct. 31, 5:30 a.m. ET
Kenji Tamane, Canada (Nebraska)
Fans of Canadian men’s gymnastics will recognize Tamane as part of the next generation of the national team. After his freshman year competing for the Huskers was cut short due to the pandemic, he decided to return home (then move to train in Quebec) and push to make Worlds. Two years have passed, and now he’ll be headed to Liverpool with one of Canada’s deepest teams since the inception of the open-ended code.
Sam Zakutney, Canada (Penn State)
A former mainstay at Penn State, Zakutney has returned to elite post pandemic as the veteran of Team Canada. Watch for him on parallel bars where he has multiple All-America honors, and high bar where he lays claim to a world cup medal from 2018.
Yul Moldauer, USA (Oklahoma)
While a healthy Team USA means we won’t see Moldauer compete, we can’t skip over a world medalist in this preview. His execution sets him apart, ultimately having earned him 2019’s Nissen-Emery award for the NCAA’s best men’s gymnast and finishing his collegiate career tied for the most All-America honors in program history.
Asher Hong, USA (Stanford)
Poised to be the next phenom of men’s college gymnastics, Hong brings an absolutely massive Ri Se Gwang to Team USA’s vault lineup—which he stuck cold at selection camp. While he’s one to reckon with in the all-around, we’ll have to wait and see if the team will favor the highest team scoring potential or try to guarantee two into the all-around final.
Stephen Nedoroscik, USA (Penn State)
You have to be pretty good at your event to make it to worlds as a specialist. Enter Nedoroscik, the 2021 world pommel horse champion and 2020 Nissen-Emery Award winner. He’ll look to battle familiar opponents in Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan and Taiwan’s Lee Chih-Kai.
Colt Walker, USA (Stanford)
Walker made his senior international debut earlier this year and will be relied on for his parallel bars scoring potential. He’s broken into the 15-range at both the worlds selection camp and Winter Cup earlier this year on the event and has been used as an 80-plus all-arounder on Stanford’s incredibly deep team (think Florida women deep) a handful of times as well.
Brody Malone, USA (Stanford)
Malone will be chasing down a high bar medal in Liverpool and looking to lead Team USA throughout the rest of the quad as the program aims to jump into consistent team medal contention. Come postseason in collegiate competition, he is a force to be reckoned with, often providing Cardinal fans with an “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” rally with the opposing team’s all-arounder(s).
Mikhail Koudinov, New Zealand (Ohio State)
Buckeyes alumnus Koudinov has been a constant on New Zealand’s national team, having made his debut in 2006 and becoming the first from his country to ever make a world cup final in 2007. He lays claim to an eponymous high bar skill (Gaylord full) and has finished just shy of the top 50 all-around at the Olympic Games in both 2016 and 2021.
Men’s Subdivision 3 – Oct. 31, 9:50 a.m. ET
Yordan Alexandrov, Bulgaria (California)
Alexandrov has been consecutively attending worlds representing Bulgaria before, during and after his NCAA career in Berkeley, with his first in 2013 and most recent in 2021. His strength lies in parallel bars, where he holds world challenge cup bronze medals from Szombathely and Mersin in 2019.
Men’s Subdivision 5 – Oct. 31, 3 p.m. ET
Lais Najjar, Syria (Michigan)
A last minute entry in Liverpool, Najjar will swap out from being a maize and blue specialist to representing Syria as an all-arounder. While he was a week-in-week-out floor contributor for his entire freshman campaign, elite fans will recognize him for his World Cup silver on vault in Cairo—the first ever of its kind for Syria.
Men’s Subdivision 6 – Oct. 31, 5 p.m. ET
Tyson Bull, Australia (Illinois)
Liverpool will be Bull’s fourth showing at a world championships, representing Australia at every edition last quad. Watch for his lofty releases on high bar; he used them to make history as the first Australian man to make an Olympic event final in 2021. During his time at Illinois, he picked up 15 event wins on the event, landing him 10th all-time in the program’s history.
Clay Mason Stephens, Australia (Illinois)
Mason Stephens will be competing at his third world championships, having represented Australia in the 2017 and 2018 editions. Most recently, he finished 11th all-around and seventh on floor at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and helped Australia come within 0.650 of team bronze.
Article by Peri Goodman and Talitha Ilacqua
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