Brazil will have one female and one male competitor at the 2018 World Cup. The Brazilian team have been excelling since Rio and have some exciting young stars amongst their team. Traditionally they are very powerful with Diego Hypolito taking silver and Arthur Mariano bronze on the floor for the men at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Arthur Zanetti also showed his incredible strength on rings to take silver amongst a highly competitive field. The women's team is home to rising star Flavia Lopes Saraiva who is a former Youth Olympic Champion.
Japan will have one female and one male competitor at the 2018 World Cup. Japan is home to the Olympic and six-time world all-around champion, Kohei Uchimura, considered by many to be the greatest gymnast of all time. Kohei has led the way and wowed the world with his incredible gymnasts time and time again, helping lead the men's team to Olympic gold in Rio. The women's team have also been rising up the ranks with some difficult and exciting work across the apparatus.
The Netherlands will have a female competitor at the 2018 World Cup. The Dutch women are well-known for their exquisite choreography on the floor and original skills on the balance beam. Sanne Wevers famously took the Olympic beam title in Rio winning the Netherlands first Olympic gold medal with some stylish and creative work.
Great Britain will have two female and two male representatives at the 2018 World Cup. The British have been rising through the ranks since unprecedented success at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Both the men's and women's teams have been breaking records year on year with Max Whitlock being crowned Britain's first ever Olympic gold medallist in 2016, taking the floor and pommel horse titles. Ellie Downie then became the country's first women's European all-around champion when she sensationally took the title in 2017.
Russia will have a one female and one male competitor at the 2018 World Cup. The team have long been a dominant force in the world of gymnastics with their men known for powerful floor and vaulting and their incredible strength on the rings with their men taking team silver at the Rio Olympic Games. Their women's team are no less successful and are known for their beautifully crafted beam and uneven bar work and also took team silver in Rio with Aliya Mustafina being crowned Olympic bar champion and the all-around bronze medallist. Maria Paseka was a force to be reckoned with on the vault at the recent 2017 World Championships where she took the title.
China will have one female and one male competitor at the 2018 World Cup. Long known as one of the powerhouse countries of gymnastics, they are renowned for intricate work on the uneven bars and confident beam work on the women's side, alongside well-executed, complex skills on the parallel bars and the rings for the men. Both the men's and women's teams took bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games with Xiao Ruoteng and Lin Chaopan taking gold and silver all-around and Zou Jingyuan parallel bars gold in the men's competition at the 2017 World Championships in Canada and Fan Yilin taking the women's bars title.
The Ukraine will have one male competitor at the 2018 World Cup. Oleg Verniaiev is one of the Ukraine's most successful gymnasts and has been winning medals on the world stage for many years and was just pipped to the Olympic all-around gold by Japanese legend Kohei Uchimura in Rio. Oleg then went on to be crowned the 2016 parallel bars Olympic champion.
The USA will have one female and one male competitor at the 2018 World Cup. The United States have been producing world and Olympic champions for many years and have dominated the women's side of competition. The all-around Olympic champion in 2016 was Simone Biles who went on to take a further three gold medals with the team, on the vault and floor as well as a beam bronze. Having won a combined total of nineteen Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast. The men's team are always strong world contenders with the likes of Daniel Leyva taking two silver medals in Rio on the horizontal and parallel bars and Alex Naddour taking bronze on the pommel horse.
Germany will have one female and male competitor at the 2018 World Cup. Germany upped their game at the recent world championships with their women's team taking two medals on the difficult balance beam. Pauline Schafer was crowned the world champion with teammate, Tabea Alt taking the bronze. The men's team are no strangers to success either and produced the 2016 Olympic Champion on the high bar, Fabian Hambuchen.
Birmingham is set to welcome a host of Olympic stars from Rio 2016 next March after the competing nations for the 2018 Gymnastics World Cup were announced in the city today (Tuesday).
World-class gymnastics from the best ranked nations will be renewing their Olympic rivalries at the two-day event at the Arena Birmingham on March 21st and 22nd with Japan, Russia, China, USA, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands lining up against host nation Great Britain in the women's event with the men's event also including Ukraine.
The USA topped the gymnastics medal table in Brazil winning 12 medals including four golds. Great Britain finished in third place behind Russia on six medals with Max Whitlock's double gold in the men's floor and pommel among the many memorable GB performances. The GB team will be hoping to produce more memorable moments in front of a passionate Birmingham home crowd.
Each competing nation will select one male and one female gymnast for the world cup event. As hosts Great Britain secure four spots automatically - two for the men's competition and two for the women's competition. Countries are expected to announce their gymnasts in the New Year.
The competing world cup nations were revealed at the city's GMAC (Gymnastics Marshall Arts Centre) where local gymnasts Joe Fraser and Dominick Cunningham are in training as they vie for the two spots in the men's GB team.
Fraser from Edgbaston, who competed in his first ever World Championships earlier this year and Cunningham, a sliver medallist at this year's British Championships were joined by junior gymnasts and potential GB stars of the future from the Birmingham club.
Joe Fraser / Dominick Cunningham said:
"To have the best gymnastic countries in the world here in Birmingham is amazing for the city and just gives me an even bigger incentive to be selected in the GB team. It would be a dream come true for me to part of the team and perform in front of my home crowd so I'll be doing everything I can to impress the selectors"
Competition Director Matthew Greenwood added:
"We're delighted that all of the top nations have chosen the Gymnastics World Cup as a key event for their elite gymnasts in 2018. To have the gymnastics powerhouses like USA, Russia and China shows we really will have the best of the best in action. Our British gymnasts will be up against top competition and a big, vocal home crowd can play a big role in pushing them on to perform at their best."
The World Cup travels the globe with four events staged in four different countries. Next year's competition will stop in the USA and Germany before coming to the UK and Birmingham next March with the final World Cup event will taking place in Japan.
Nations compete to be crowned World Cup winners with each individual event securing vital points on the leader board. Medals are awarded at each event, with gymnasts also picking up ranking points in the hope of being crowned the World Cup series champion.
The first night of competition in Birmingham on Wednesday March 21st will see the men battle it out on all the famous apparatus (floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar). It's then all about the women on the following night as they compete on vault, uneven bars, beam and floor.
Tickets for the event at the Arena Birmingham are on sale now. Prices start from £18 per session, with family tickets available from £48 (booking fees apply).