Paris Olympics

Emma Malabuyo falls short of Olympic spot after World Cup Series

Delfin Dioquino

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Emma Malabuyo falls short of Olympic spot after World Cup Series

GYMNAST. Emma Malabuyo strikes a pose.

Emma Malabuyo Instagram page

Emma Malabuyo misses out on a coveted spot in the Paris Olympics as she finishes third in the floor exercise rankings of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series

MANILA, Philippines – Close but no cigar.

Emma Malabuyo fell short of a coveted spot in the Paris Olympics following the conclusion of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday, April 20.

The World Cup Series, which consisted of four legs, served as an Olympic qualifying event, rewarding the top two gymnasts with the highest three-meet point total in each apparatus a ticket to Paris.

Malabuyo went to Doha at second in the floor exercise rankings with 69 points, but she dropped to third as Austria’s Charlize Moerz and Spain’s Laura Casabuena clinched the Olympic berths up for grabs in the apparatus.

Already secured of a seat in Paris after the Baku, Azerbaijan leg in March, Moerz topped the rankings with 80 points, while Casabuena leapfrogged Malabuyo with 75 points thanks to her bronze medal in Doha.

Malabuyo lost control of her Olympic bid after she failed to reach the floor exercise final in Doha as her 10th-place finish in the qualification prevented her from improving her point tally.

She amassed 30 points in Cairo, Egypt, 14 points in Cottbus, Germany, and 25 points in Baku.

Although Malabuyo received 12 points in Doha, she stayed at 69 points since only the three highest scores were considered for the Olympic rankings.

Malabuyo had remained in contention for a Paris berth going into the final, but she needed the trailing Casabuena – who toted 45 points earned from two World Cup legs – to finish no higher than third among the Olympic eligible athletes.

Points for eligible gymnasts were 30 points for first, 25 points for second, and 20 points for third.

Unfortunately for Malabuyo, Casabuena got 30 points despite the fact that she placed third overall in the final as gold medalist Kaylia Nemour of Algeria and silver medalist Ruby Evans of Great Britain were excluded in the rankings.

Nemour already qualified for the Olympics through the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships last year, while Evans is from a country which has a team bound for Paris.

Malabuyo can still give the Olympics another shot, but she has to be the best eligible all-around gymnast in the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships that will run from May 2 to 5 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Three Filipino gymnasts have qualified for Paris so far: Carlos Yulo, Aleah Finnegan, and Levi Jung-Ruivivar. –

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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.