Sandra Izbaşa will participate to Swiss Cup

The Hallenstation in Zürich once again welcomes top gymnasts from all around the world for its annual mixed-pair Swiss Cup on Nov. 2.

This year’s competition is headlined by Olympic floor exercise champion Sandra Izbaşa (Romania). Her Swiss Cup partner, Flavius Koczi, teamed with Steliana Nistor to take the title in 2007.

The field includes five other finalists from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing: Yann Cucherat (France), Ksenia Afanasyeva (Russia), Fabian Hambüchen (Germany), Epke Zonderland (The Netherlands) and Switzerland’s own Ariella Käslin.

First held in 1970, the Swiss Cup has a great tradition in gymnastics. In 1982 it adopted a mixed-pair format, which has attracted not only some of the best gymnasts but also a big crowd on a regular basis. In 1993 it switched to an individual event competition, but returned to mixed pairs in 2000. Each nation competes as a pair of one male and one female gymnast, with only the best pairs advancing to additional rounds. For the athletes it is about presenting their best events, but also about making wise choices regarding the events to compete early to have the best possible chance for advancing to the final round.

All 12 pairs compete two rounds of competition, but only eight of them will advance to the semifinals and only four end up in the finals. During the first three rounds scores are added, and the gymnasts have to choose different events for each round. The final, on the other hand, begins from zero and the gymnasts can shine on their best individual events once again.

Not only is the format interesting, but the healthy prize money — $20,000 for the winning pair — attracts some of the best gymnasts and nations. All these circumstances make sure the gymnasts have fun competing at a “different” meet while also trying their best to grab the victory.

Source intlgymnast.com

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