November 22, 2019 – Croatian gymnast Robert Seligman advanced to the Cottbus World Cup finals in the pommel horse discipline, to be held on Saturday afternoon.
HRT reports that Seligman ranked sixth in the qualifying round with a score of 14,366, among as many as 45 gymnasts. Croatia’s other national team representative who also happens to be from Osijek, Renato Prpic, ended his appearance at the 44th Turnier der Meister in 30th place with a score of 12,766 due to a fall.
The news of Seligman making the final is even greater when you consider that Cottbus is one of the last four World Cup tournaments to compete in for a spot at the Tokyo Olympics. The next tournament is in 2020 in Melbourne, Baku and Doha.
“Fortunately for me, the qualifications were fantastic. Although we waited for almost 2.5 hours to perform, I performed in the ninth, penultimate group. The competition was really great, almost like in the recent World Cup. Maybe even better since there were a lot of specialists who couldn’t get into their teams,” Seligman said after the qualifications, in which the Chinese gymnast Hao Weng had the highest rating (15,100).
“I performed without a mistake from start to finish, although I had a little weaker start at 5.9, I did that on purpose because I knew that two-tenths more would not bring me anything in the beginning, and mentally I would make it easier to do my exercise without error, which I managed. Honestly, I was surprised by my rating of 14,366, it’s quite low, but later I saw that many others were rejected. All in all, I am satisfied, I have regained the confidence lost in the World Cup and now I see that I have a chance to be in the fight for a medal. I will raise my starting rating to 6.1 and do my best to do it again without a major mistake,” Robert said.
His coach, Vladimir Magarevic, is also pleased.
“We have restored confidence in the most important part of the Olympic qualifications. The point is that Robert regained faith in himself and showed himself that the hunt for Tokyo is not yet lost. He felt good before and during the performance, he controlled everything, although there were 45 gymnasts at the start, 20 top pommel horse gymnasts, and a lot of specialists in this discipline,” said Mađarevic.
The pommel horse finals are scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday.
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.