Paris Olympics

Emma Malabuyo awaits Olympic fate after falling short of floor exercise final in Doha World Cup

Delfin Dioquino

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Emma Malabuyo awaits Olympic fate after falling short of floor exercise final in Doha World Cup

PERFORM. The Philippines' Emma Malabuyo in action for the UCLA Gymnastics Team in the US NCAA.

UCLA Gymnastics Instagram page

Filipina-American gymnast Emma Malabuyo plays the waiting game, hoping she had earned enough qualification points to clinch a spot in the Paris Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – The prospect of qualifying for the Paris Olympics remains promising for Emma Malabuyo, but her fate is now out of her hands.

The Filipina-American bet can only hope for the best as she fell short of reaching the final of the women’s floor exercise in the Doha, Qatar leg of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series on Thursday, April 18.

She narrowly missed the top eight cutoff for the final, placing 10th in the qualification with 12.533 points.

Algeria’s Kaylia Nemour emerged as the top qualifier with 13.5 points followed by Great Britain’s Ruby Evans (13.266) and Sweden’s Jennifer Williams (13.133) at second and third, respectively,

Spain’s Laura Casabuena (13.066), Austria’s Charlize Moerz (12.933), Kazakhstan’s Aida Bauyrzhanova (12.8), Egypt’s Jana Mahmoud (12.733), and Italy’s Chiara Barzasi (12.733) completed the final cast.

Nevertheless, Malabuyo is still in the hunt for a coveted Paris berth as she aims to stay in the top two of the uneven bars rankings to conclude the four-leg World Cup Series, which ends in Doha.

Malabuyo ranks second in uneven bars with 69 points after garnering 30 points in Cairo, Egypt, 14 points in Cottbus, Germany, and 25 points in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Only the three highest scores out of the four World Cups will be considered for the Olympic qualification rankings, so those 69 points will remain unchanged as Malabuyo is set to receive just 12 points for her finish in Doha.

The corresponding points for each placing in the World Cup are 30 for first, 25 for second, 20 for third, 18 for fourth, 16 for fifth, 14 for sixth, 12 for seventh, and 10 for eighth.

Malabuyo got 30 points in Cairo despite finishing second and 25 points in Baku despite finishing sixth since gymnasts who already qualified or whose countries have qualified teams for Paris are excluded in the rankings.

With Moerz punching her ticket to Paris as she is guaranteed to top the uneven bars rankings with at least 80 points, the last Olympic seat up for grabs in the apparatus will be disputed by Malabuyo and Casabuena.

Casabuena has 45 points earned from two World Cup legs and must gain 25 or 30 points in order to unseat Malabuyo.

Since Nemour is already qualified for the Olympics and Evans and Barzasi come from countries who have qualified teams in Paris, Malabuyo needs Casabuena to finish as the third-highest eligible gymnast at best.


Malabuyo awaits her Olympic fate as the uneven bars final unfolds on Saturday, April 20. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.