Paris Olympics

Defying the odds: Jung-Ruivivar earns Olympic berth after uneven bars silver in Doha World Cup

Delfin Dioquino

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Defying the odds: Jung-Ruivivar earns Olympic berth after uneven bars silver in Doha World Cup

MEDALIST. Levi Jung Ruivivar (left) wins silver in the women's uneven bars of the 2024 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

Qatar Gymnastics Federation X page

Levi Jung-Ruivivar will join Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan in the Paris Olympics as she captures her first medal in the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series

MANILA, Philippines – The stars aligned for Levi Jung-Ruivivar in her bid to qualify for the Olympics.

Jung-Ruivivar will join compatriots Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan in the Paris Games after snagging silver in the women’s uneven bars in the Doha, Qatar leg of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series on Friday, April 19.

Narrowly reaching the final as the eighth and last qualifier, the Filipina-American captured her first World Cup medal with a score of 13.633 points, and in the process, became the 10th Filipino athlete to book a ticket to Paris.

Jung-Ruivivar clinched her Olympic seat by finishing second in the uneven bars rankings with 62 points. Only the top two gymnasts in each apparatus with the highest three-meet point total out of four World Cup legs advanced.

She entered the Doha leg tied at fifth with 44 points after getting 14 points in Cairo, Egypt, 12 points in Cottbus, Germany, and 18 points in Baku, Azerbaijan, but she raised her tally to 62 points by earning 30 points for her silver.

Kaylia Nemour of Algeria struck gold convincingly with 15.366 points, although she did not receive ranking points as she already qualified for Paris through the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships last year.

As a result, Jung-Ruivivar netted the 30 points rewarded to the highest-placed eligible gymnast.

Individual neutral athlete Alena Tsitavets of Belarus bagged bronze with 13.6 points.

New Zealand’s Georgie-Rose Brown also nailed a Paris berth after topping the uneven bars rankings with 70 points, amassing 20 points as she finished fifth overall and third out of the five eligible gymnasts in the final.

Like Nemour, finalists Filipa Martins of Portugal and Anna Lashchevska of Ukraine were excluded in the rankings as they already qualified for the Olympics.

Defying the odds

Qualifying for Paris seemed like a long shot for Jung-Ruivivar.

Sweden’s Jennifer Williams (48 points), Czech Republic’s Vanesa Masova (48 points), and Sweden’s Nathalie Westlund (47 points) were ahead of Jung-Ruivivar in the rankings going into Doha.

Tsitavets also posed a threat despite having just 30 points earned from a single World Cup as she hoped to bump her tally to a maximum of 60 points.

But every thing that Jung-Ruivivar needed to happen fell into place as she got a gift of a lifetime two weeks before her 18th birthday.

Masova and Williams crashed out of Olympic contention as they failed to make it past the uneven bars qualification, while Tsitavets and Westlund finished behind Jung-Ruivivar in the final to settle with 55 points each.

Westlund ended up at eighth and last place with 11.666 points.

It was a surprising turn of events for Jung-Ruivivar, considering she finished no higher than eighth in the first three World Cup legs.

Jung-Ruivivar placed 13th in Cairo and 12th in Cottbus before she cracked the final in Baku and landed at eighth place.

With Jung-Ruivivar in tow, the Philippines will have its biggest gymnastics delegation in the Olympics in nearly six decades, or since Norman Henson and Ernesto Beren saw action in the 1968 Mexico City Games. –

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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.