Up until the Beijing Games, the teams qualified to the Olympics by finishing in the top 12 at the World Championships the previous year. However, rules changed for the London and Rio Olympics and now only the top 8 teams get direct qualification to the Olympics. The next 8 (placements 9 to 16) get to send full teams to the Test Event and the top four will earn the chance to send a full team to Rio. The teams placed 5th to 8th will only get one spot.
The Test Event is also attended by individuals, countries that didn’t qualify a full team to the Test Event, the number of individuals can be one or two depending on the country’s placement. The Test Event result determines if an individual can attend the Olympics.
So, these are the Cool Facts From the last two Test Events.
1. Under the old rules, Italy, France, Canada and Spain would have earned direct team qualification at the 2011 World Championships instead they attended the Test Event to earn their spot and the first three did while Spain dropped to 7th place out of 8 teams competing and Brazil climbed up to fourth place and grabbed the last spot.
2. From the new seniors, gymnasts born in 1996, that competed at the Test Event: Anastasia Grishina (RUS), Erika Fasana (ITA), Victoria Moors (CAN), Anne Kuhm (FRA) and Rebecca Tunney (GBR) went on to compete at the Olympics as part of their respective teams. From those new seniors, only Tunney and Kuhm continue to compete nowadays.
3. Sui Lu, who was then the reigning World Champion on beam (2011 Worlds), had four falls from the beam during the event finals.
4. Three of the Test Event medalists did not go to the Olympics:
- Rio-born Jade Barbosa who won gold on vault missed the Olympics after refusing to sign a mandatory team contract that athletes aiming for an Olympic spot were obliged to sign.
- Wyomi Masela, bronze on vault at the Test Event, got an early assignation of The Netherlands’ only Olympic spot, however, teammate Céline Van Garner went to court to seek reconsideration from the Federation as she had been injured and unable to show her best performances. In the end, Van Gerner was chosen to attend the London Olympics and finished 12th in the all-around final.
- Marine Brevet from France, who won bronze on Floor, missed the Olympics due to a dislocated elbow.
UPDATED COOL FACT: From these three gymnasts who missed the Olympics, Jade Barbosa and Marine Brevet made it into their, respective, 2016 Olympic Teams with Marine retiring after Rio.
5. The same four teams that finished 9th to 12th at the 2015 World Championships went on to secure their Olympic spots at the Test Event: Brazil, France, Belgium and Germany.
6. From the four teams that were present at both Test Events (France, Belgium, Brazil and South Korea): Anne Kuhm, Marine Brevet, Daniele Hypolito, Jade Barbosa, Julie Croket and Gaelle Mys represented their countries both in 2012 and 2016.
7. From the individuals that earned spots for the Rio Olympics: Thi Ha Thanh Phan, Jessica López, Ana Sofía Gómez Porras, Vasiliki Millousi and Oksana Chusovitina are returning Olympians from London 2012.
8. From the individual participants that were present at the London Test Event but did not make the Olympics then:
- Angelina Kysla who in 2012 lost the Olympic spot to teammate Natalia Kononenko will now be the sole representative for Ukraine in Rio.
- As for Mexico’s Ana Lago, she will miss the Olympics again as the sole spot has been awarded to Alexa Moreno and back in 2012 the spot went to teammate Elsa García.
9. From the medalists at the Test Event:
- Oksana Chusovitina who won silver on vault has won 9 World medals on vault in a 26-year-long career.
- Sanne Wevers the gold medalist on beam, is the current world silver medallist on the apparatus
10. Two sisters and twins shared the beam podium at the Test Event, Sanne Wevers won gold while twin sister Lieke Wevers won bronze. The twins, who are currently 24, have rarely competed together in major international competitions and if they get a spot on their team it will be their first Olympics.
UPDATED COOL FACT: The Rio Test Event, turned out to be Diana Bulimar’s last competition. Despite the fact she was not among the candidates to attend the Rio Olympics Diana was not planning to retire and was training for the European Championships when she tore her Achilles. Bulimar officially announced her retirement in 2017.