Elisabeth Seitz was fourth on bars at the Rio Olympics. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Germany has announced a team of Olympians for the upcoming World championships in Montreal. The team will be formed of four of the five women who represented Germany at the 2016 Rio Olympics: Elisabeth Seitz, Pauline Schäfer, Kim Bui and Tabea Alt. The only member of the Rio team who will not compete at the World championships this year is Sophie Scheder, who won an unexpected bronze medal on the uneven bars at last year’s Games.

The German team was selected after the gymnasts competed at the WM-Quali in Stuttgart, where Tabea Alt won the all around, ahead of Pauline Schäfer and Michelle Timm. Elisabeth Seitz also had a strong competition on her pet-event, the uneven bars, where she posted a 14.500. Germany will then bring a lot of experience and potential to the World championships, and could challenge for a medal on many fronts.

Elisabeth Seitz, 23, is a two-time Olympian (2012 and 2016). At both Games, she qualified for both the all around and the uneven bars finals. In 2012 she finished tenth in the all around and sixth on bars. In 2016 she finished seventeenth in the all around, and fourth on bars, only 0.033 behind teammate Sophie Scheder. Seitz is also a two-time European medallist. She won a silver medal in the all around at the 2011 European championships, and a bronze on the uneven bars in 2017.

Pauline Schäfer, 20, competed at three World championships in the past, in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2015, in Glasgow, she won an unexpected bronze medal on balance beam, behind the U.S.A.’s Simone Biles and the Netherlands’ Sanne Wevers. Schäfer was also a member of the 2016 Rio Olympic team. In Rio, she was twelfth on floor exercise and fifteenth on balance beam.

Kim Bui, 28, is a three-time Olympian (2008 as an alternate, 2012 and 2016). She finished nineteenth in qualifications on the uneven bars at both Olympic Games she competed at. She won a bronze medal on the uneven bars at the 2011 European championships, behind Great Britain’s Beth Tweddle and Russia’s Tatiana Nabieva. Bui competed at three World championships before, in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

Tabea Alt, 17, was the youngest member of the German team at the Rio Olympic Games. There, she finished twenty-first on balance beam and twenty-fifth on bars in qualifications. Since last year, Alt has dramatically improved in the all around and is now Germany’s best all arounder. This year, she won gold in the all around at both the London and the Stuttgart World Challenge Cup. She was one of the favourites to win the European all around title as well, but had to withdraw from the final due to sickness.

The 2017 World championships will be held in Montreal, Canada from 2 to 8 October.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua


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