New beginnings. Emotional endings. FEI Vaulting World Cup returns
Written by Joanne Eccles
After a three-year hiatus, the long-awaited FEI Vaulting World Cup Final will return on the 8th and 9th April 2022 at the Partner Pferd in the Leipziger Messe (GER). Alongside the FEI Jumping, Dressage & Driving World Cup Finals, it is sure to be a high energy, thrilling spectacle as the World’s elite take to the stage.
World champions and previous medalists will come together to battle it out for glory as FEI Vaulting returns with a new format. This year, individual athletes will be required to show a Technical Test in Round 1 and a Freestyle in the final round, both of which have been allocated an extra 10 seconds over normal competition to allow the vaulters to fully explore their artistic concepts. The scores of both rounds will combine to crown the new FEI Vaulting World Cup winners in the Individual Male, Female and Pas de Deux classes.
Janika Derks (GER) is the only reigning champion returning this year as she hopes to retain her 2019 FEI Vaulting World Cup title and end her vaulting career on top of the podium. She will face stiff competition from Eva Nagiller (AUT) who took the bronze medal at the FEI Vaulting World Championships in August 2021, finishing hard on the heels of Derks who won the silver, and Manon Moutinho (FRA) who placed closely behind in 5th. Hannah Steverding (GER) and Jolina Ossenberg-Engels (GER) will aim to thrill the judges and the audience to earn their place in World Cup history, whilst the USA’s Kayln Noah and Kimberly Palmer will provide a challenge to their European rivals. Young talent Annebeth Kubbe (NED) will be looking to make her mark at her first World Cup final.
“Janika Derks (GER) is the only reigning champion returning this year as she hopes to retain her 2019 FEI Vaulting World Cup title and end her career on top of the podium…”
In the male category, all eyes will be on decorated vaulter Lambert Leclezio (FRA). The thrice World Champion is making his debut at the FEI World Cup Final and will aim to complete his trophy cabinet with a World Cup win, in what will be his final season of competitive Individual Vaulting. Vice World Champion Jannik Heiland (GER) alongside team-mate Thomas Brüsewitz (GER) will try to thwart Leclezio and use the home crowd to their advantage. Also looking to take the top spot and beat his previous best, second place 2017 FEI World Cup Final finish, is seasoned World Cup competitor Lukas Heppler (SUI). Bringing personality and grace to his performance, Lorenzo Lupacchini will represent Italy alongside David Zanella, whilst Austria’s Philip Clement completes the Men’s line up.
Four of the World’s best Pas de Deux will compete for World Cup honors in what promises to be an exciting and emotional exhibition as World Champions Janika Derks and Johannes Kay (GER) go for gold in their final performance together. Highlighting the gravity of the event, Kay stated
It is very special for us to get the last round in Leipzig, as we have never done any World Cup competition before, so it is the last thing we were missing, and we thought that there might be no more World Cup. It is very special that we will have the opportunity to join the final and get our last round done in this awesome circle”.
They will face hard-fought competition from fellow compatriots, Vice-World Champions Chiara Congia and Justin Van Gerven who will also be looking to gain the title for the first time with the long-time partnership of Jolina Ossenberg-Engels and Timo Gerdes hoping to beat them both to it. Austrians Romana Hintner and Eva Nagiller round out the incredibly strong competition and are equally likely to be crowned worthy winners.
There is plenty to look forward to in what promises to be a high-stakes, exhilarating FEI Vaulting World Cup Final.
Further information on the FEI Vaulting World Cup Final can be found here.
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