2023 Gymnastics World Championships: Draw of lots is out! See when your favorite nations and individuals will be qualifying.

By Patricia Duffy | July 3, 2023
The logo for the 2023 Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.

The 2023 Gymnastics World Championships are just three months away, and now we know when all the nations and individual competitors will be competing in qualifying at the competition, which will take place at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium from September 30 – October 8.

Qualifying starts the competition and will run from Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. This is the time when athletes will attempt to qualify for every final, including the team, all-around, and event medal rounds. It’s also when we get to see every athlete who qualified to worlds compete. Whether they advance to the finals or not, this is a huge accomplishment for the individuals and a privilege for the fans to witness these athletes competing at the highest level of their sport.

The worlds before an Olympic year is particularly important because it serves as a major qualifier for the Games. In Antwerp, the top 9 teams, excluding those that qualified in Liverpool, will earn five-person team berths to the Games. This is the last opportunity for a nation to qualify a team to Paris, bringing the final total for the Olympics to 12 teams for both the men and women.

The three highest-ranked nations that did not earn a team berth will earn one individual quota place, to be decided by that nation. In addition, the all-around qualifying results will award eight eligible male gymnasts and fourteen eligible female gymnasts their Olympic tickets, by name. Lastly, the top eligible gymnast in each apparatus final will punch their ticket, by name.

The drawing of lots was conducted in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 3. It is completely random, and the procedures were observed by numerous leads at the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), the world governing body for gymnastics.

Preferences of when to compete in qualifying vary from nation to nation and individual to individual, but typically it’s best to compete in the middle of the pack – not first out the gate, when your scores might be the victim of strict early scoring, and not last, when you’ll have the least amount of recovery time, especially if competing in the team final. Not to mention the painfully late competition time.

Per the event website, “this draw has been made by assessing the risk, over the next 13 weeks, of receiving additional withdrawals among Apparatus Specialists (AS).” Due to the possible impact of these withdrawals, namely:

  • having to place a substitute gymnast in different AS groups depending on the apparatus qualified for
  • not being able to place a substitute gymnast in the same group as the gymnasts from the same national federation

The decision was made to not yet draw AS in both groups and positions but only to draw the two AS groups in the subdivision and starting apparatus. The finalization of AS draws will take placed shortly before the start of the world championships.

A reminder: Russia and Belarus are still barred from competing internationally due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

MAG Qualifying

Saturday, September 30

Subdivision 1 @ 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. CEST / 4 – 5:50 a.m. EDT

Three strong teams will headline the first subdivision in Antwerp, with Great Britain being the 2022 bronze medalist. Brazil also has an impressive team that can put up strong numbers when it hits, and then there’s Turkey, who missed out on the team final in Liverpool last year by less than two points but has a strong trio of individual stars in Ferhat Arican, Adem Asil, and Ahmet Onder. If they are in attendance again this year, Turkey is one to watch to get into the team final.

Subdivision 2 @ 12:15 – 2:05 p.m. CEST / 6:15 – 8:05 a.m. EDT

Japan and Ukraine will get things going in the second subdivision, with the former trying to return to the top of the podium after being bested by China in the team final last fall. Ukraine was a disappointing 21st in qualifying, but if Illia Kovtun and Igor Radivilov are on the roster, there’s always a chance for some big scores and impactful leaderboard moves. This subdivision also includes Belgium’s men’s team starting on parallel bars, which means a lot of hype from the home crowd.

Subdivision 3 @ 4 – 5:50 p.m. CEST / 10 – 11:50 a.m. EDT

Team USA will take the floor in the third subdivision, starting on pommel horse – historically, the nation’s make or break event. Last fall saw a shocking performance from the American men: they went from qualifying third (ahead of China), with a strong showing that included the second-best team performance on horse, to a shocking fifth after a number errors put them in a hole they couldn’t escape. Australia will join their friends from across the world. The Aussies have been on the rise in recent years and should have reigning Australia all-around champion and artist-in-motion Heath Thorpe, as well as resident high bar guru Tyson Bull in their lineups.

Subdivision 4 @ 6:15 – 8:05 p.m. CEST / 12:15 – 2:05 p.m. EDT

Subdivision four is stacked with strong teams, including defending champion China, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany. This is the one where we’ll have our eyes going all over the place, with medal contenders on all four teams.

Sunday, October 1

Subdivision 5 @ 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. CEST / 4 – 5:50 a.m. EDT

The fifth subdivision sees Canada take the floor alongside a Colombia squad that has been making impressive advances this year. Canada failed to qualify a men’s team to the Tokyo Games, so this is a true now-or-never showing.

Subdivision 6 @ 12:15 – 2:05 p.m. CEST / 6:15 – 8:05 a.m. EDT

Italy and France lead the sixth and final men’s subdivision. Italy finished fourth in the team final in Liverpool, surpassing the United States and showing they have what it takes to contend for the podium when they’re on. France, the host of next summer’s Olympics, failed to qualify to the team final last year and is now in crunch time. China, Japan, and Great Britain have secured team berths to the Olympics, but if France doesn’t finish in the top 9 among non-qualified teams during qualifying, the nation will only have the one men’s individual berth given to the host nation.

WAG Qualifying

The drawing of the lots for women's team qualifying at the 2023 Gymnastics World Championships.
The drawing of the lots for women's individual qualifying at the 2023 Gymnastics World Championships.

Sunday, October 1

Subdivision 1 @ 4 – 5:20 p.m. CEST / 10 – 11:20 a.m. EDT

Subdivision one is rife with artistry – fitting since the slogan for these championships is #GetMovedByMotion. Italy and the Netherlands will lead things off, starting on vault and bars, respectively. Italy finished fifth in the team final last year while the Netherlands were outside looking in at ninth during qualifying.

Subdivision 2 @ 5:45 – 7:05 p.m. CEST / 11:45 a.m. – 1:05 p.m. EDT

Defending champ Team USA will start on bars in the second subdivision, which could lead to some interesting lineup choices depending on who makes the team. With the leg events in the latter half of the competition, pacing and reserving energy will be key for the best individual qualifying results.

Subdivision 3 @ 7:30 – 8:50 p.m. CEST / 1:30 – 2:50 p.m. EDT

Subdivision three sees the 2022 silver medalist, Great Britain, take the floor as the nation tries to continue trending up and, potentially, creep into the United States’ difficulty buffer. Also exciting to watch in this subdivision is South Africa, who qualified a team to worlds for the first time in nearly two decades.

Monday, October 2

Subdivision 4 @ 10 – 11:20 a.m. CEST / 4 – 5:20 a.m. EDT

The host nation headlines this subdivision, with Belgian superstar Nina Derwael eyeing a return to the top of the uneven bars rankings after winning bronze last year. The two-time world uneven bars champion will also try to help her team earn a berth to Paris, which would certainly set the Sportpaleis on fire. Romania returns a team to worlds for the first time since 2019.

Subdivision 5 @ 11:30 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. CEST / 5:30 – 6:50 a.m. EDT

An intriguing Mexico squad takes the floor in subdivision five, with 2018 world vault bronze medalist Alexa Moreno expected to headline the team after returning to training in March and winning gold at the Pan American championships in May.

Subdivision 6 @ 1 – 2:20 p.m. CEST / 7 – 8:20 a.m. EDT

Subdivision six includes two exciting teams: Australia and Brazil. While the Aussie women missed out on the team final last year, a clean performance in Antwerp should earn them an Olympic berth. Meanwhile, Brazil is once again eyeing a chance at history if it can qualify to the team final and earn its place on the podium for the first time ever.

Subdivision 7 @ 4:15 – 5:35 p.m. CEST / 10:15 – 11:35 a.m. EDT

The seventh subdivision is highlighted by Liverpool’s cinderella story, Canada. The Canadian women were the belle of the ball last fall when they shocked everyone, winning the bronze medal and booking their ticket to Paris. With that weight off their shoulders, this team has great potential, especially with Ellie Black once again expected to lead the Maple Leaf ladies.

Subdivision 8 @ 5:45 – 7:05 p.m. CEST / 11:45 a.m. – 1:05 p.m. EDT

Three European nations will battle in the eighth subdivision, with Germany looking to return to the team final and earn its Olympic berth. Hungary and Finland will show off their unique artistry alongside Deutschland.

Subdivision 9 @ 7:45 – 9:05 p.m. CEST / 1:45 – 3:05 p.m. EDT

Japan will get its competition started in the ninth subdivision, rotating in Olympic order. The most recent Olympic host qualified in fifth last year but dropped to seventh in the team final. This year, the nation’s worlds team has already been decided, meaning all eyes are focused on Belgium. 2022 world balance beam champion Watanabe Hazuki and beam bronze medalist Miyata Shoko will lead the team, along with Ashikawa Urara, Kishi Rina, and Fukazawa Kokoro.

Subdivision 10 @ 9:15 – 10:35 p.m. CEST / 3:15 – 4:35 p.m. EDT

France and China will round out the qualifying competition in subdivision 10, where the two nations will be dealing with the latest qualifying subdivision of the entire competition. The upcoming Olympic hosts will, fittingly, rotate in Olympic order. China, who finished sixth in last year’s team final, will start on floor.