By Anna Rose Johnson
With the American Cup less than two weeks away, it’s the perfect time to take a quick look at the all-star women’s field that will gather in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 2, 2019, to vie for this prestigious title. With a mix of veterans and rising talent, this should be one of the most exciting American Cups in recent years!
Photos by Grace Chiu
Ellie Black is one of the top athletes to headline this year’s field. The 23-year-old Canadian superstar finished second in the all-around at the recent Elite Canada, and she’ll be looking to win her first international meet of 2019. Black, who won the all-around silver at 2017 Worlds, could definitely challenge for the title in Greensboro.
Kim Bui of Germany is another amazing veteran. She served as an alternate in the 2008 Olympics and competed in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, and you won’t want to miss her beautiful artistry!
17-year-old Grace McCallum of Twin City Twisters is a member of the U.S. women’s gold medal-winning team from Doha last fall, and—along with her teammate Leanne Wong—she’ll be looking to continue the strong tradition of the U.S. women at the American Cup. If you haven’t yet seen her elegant beam routine and fun floor exercise, you need to find some videos of Grace!
Japan’s Mai Murakami is the reigning World all-around silver medalist and two-time World medalist on floor exercise (gold in 2017, bronze in 2018). We’re enormous fans of her powerful yet perfectly controlled tumbling and polished performances across all four events, and we’re eager to see if she can win another American Cup medal (she placed second in 2018).
Célia Serber of France is a newcomer to the major international stage, as she’s a first-year senior who won’t turn sixteen until August. She won the junior all-around at last year’s French Championships, and her strongest events are vault and floor.
Sanna Veerman of the Netherlands enjoyed a successful junior career, competing at both the European Youth Olympic Festival and the European Championships. She turned senior last year, winning the all-around silver at the 2018 Bundesliga Regional Finals, and we can’t wait to see more from her!
Another newcomer on the roster includes South Korea’s Lee Yun Seo, who won two medals at the Voronin Cup last December and will also be making her senior debut at the American Cup. Don’t miss her uneven bars routine—her execution is breathtaking!
The 2018 U.S. Junior All-Around Champion will also compete in Greensboro—GAGE’s Leanne Wong, whose artistry and grace have earned her countless fans in the past few years. Could the American Cup mark her first-ever senior competition victory?
Competing in her first international assignment, 18-year-old Lu Yufei will look to stamp herself as a major contender for China’s World Championships team this fall. With a bit more consistency, this shouldn’t be hard for Lu, who has a gorgeous set of skills to offer.
This competition will be one of the fiercest battles we’ve seen at the American Cup in many years. With so many talented and evenly-matched athletes on the roster, it’s extremely difficult to predict who will claim the gold. Who do you think will win this year’s American Cup?
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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com