Up until the Beijing Games the teams that qualified to the Olympics did so by finishing in the top 12 at the World Championships of the previous year. However rules changed for the London and Rio Olympics and now only 8 of the 12 team spots are granted at Worlds with the remaining 4 being determined at the Test Events as well as the individual participants of the countries that do not qualify a full team.
So welcome to the Cool Facts of the 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 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. From the medalists at the Test Event Jade Barbosa and Yao Jinnan were already World Medalists when they won their medals at the Test Event. Jade, who won gold on vault, had already won bronze at the 2007 Worlds (all-around) and 2010 Worlds (vault) and Yao Jinnan, who won bronze on uneven bars, had won three medals at the 2011 World Championships and went on to become World Champion on Uneven Bars in 2014.
4. Sui Lu, who was then the reigning World Champion on beam and who went on to win silver on beam at the London Olympics, had four falls from the beam during the event finals.
5. Three of the medalists of the Test Event did not go to the Olympics:
Brazilian 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.
6. 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.
7. From the 8 teams qualified to the Rio Test Event: Brazil, Belgium, France and Korea had been present at the London Test Event.
8. From the four teams that were present at both Test Events: Anne Kuhm, Marine Brevet, Daniele Hypolito, Jade Barbosa, Julie Croket and Gaelle Mys represented their countries at both competitions.
9. 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.
10. From the individual participants that were present at the London Test Event but did not make the Olympics; 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.
11. From the medalists at the Test Event Oksana Chusovitina who won silver on vault and Sanne Wevers who won gold on beam have previously been World medalists. Oksana has won 9 world medals on vault in a 26-year-long career and Sanne Wevers is the current world silver medallist on beam.
12. Two sisters and twins shared the podium at the Test Event, Sanne Wevers won gold while twin sister Lieke won bronze on beam. The twins, who are currently 24, have rarely competed together in major international competitions and if they get a spot within their team it will be their first Olympics.
BONUS (UPDATED) COOL FACT: The gold medallist on beam at the Test Event Sanne Wevers went on to become the Olympic Beam Champion in Rio 2016.