15 May 2019

WA Judge Travels to Ukraine International Cup

Written by Matthew Lean

I recently attended the Ukrainian International Cup held in Kiev, Ukraine from the 28th March – 1st April as an Official as part of the Australian delegate. The Australian Team also consisted of athletes Michael Tone, Scott Costin and David Tanner, and coaches Sean Wilson and Jack Coates.

The Australian Team trained for a week before the competition at the Ukrainian Olympic Team Training base approximately 45 minutes outside of Kiev. There was approx. 20 – 30 residential male gymnasts at the facility including Olympic medalists Igor Radivilov and Oleg Verniaiev, and Youth Olympic Games Medalist Nazar Chepurny.

It was an excellent opportunity to see the intensity and discipline that the Ukrainian gymnasts train with, and a valuable experience for the athletes to train alongside Olympic and World medalists.

The competition was attended by 19 countries. The first day of competition was Team Final (combined Junior and Senior teams), All-Around Final, and qualification for Apparatus Finals. The Australian gymnasts had mixed results from first day of competition with Scott Costin qualifying for Floor final and reserve for Parallel Bars final, and Michael Tone qualifying for Rings final. I judged E1 on Vault and E2 on Floor for first day of competition.

The Apparatus Finals were split in Junior and Senior competition, with 8 athletes from each division per apparatus. Because Australia had made finals on Floor and Rings, I was drawn as an Execution judge for Pommel Horse, Vault and Horizontal Bar.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience judging this competition. Due to a lower than expected number of judges, there was only two execution judges per panel for qualifications. This meant that the quality and accuracy of scores for each routine was more important than usual. I was very happy my judging performance over both days of competition.

Thank you to Gymnastics WA and the WA MAG Technical Committee for providing additional funding to attend the training camp and competition through the High-Performance Grant and International scholarship.  I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity; it has been an invaluable experience.