LSU gymnast Aleah Finnegan qualified as an all-arounder to the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp after her performance at the 2023 Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Singapore back in June. She is now one step away from the 2024 Paris Olympics. She will compete in the eighth subdivision of qualifications for the team and event finals from 10:45 a.m.-12:05 p.m. Central on Monday, October 2, to book her spot in Paris. You can stream this on allgymnastics.tv if you wish to view it live.
How can she qualify? Well there are two possible ways to qualify: finish inside the top 14 of the all-around in qualifying among those who aren’t already qualified or finish the highest on an event in the event finals among those who have not already qualified. This can be confusing without a breakdown of each piece before looking at the full picture, so here’s what you need to know.
Who has already qualified for the Olympics?
Three teams have already qualified to the Olympics: the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. They did so by finishing as the top 3 teams at the team finals of the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool. This means that Aleah won’t have to compete for a spot at the Olympics against the likes of Simone Biles or Ellie Black. They’ve got a spot waiting for them as a member of their national team if they’re named to it.
What about other teams?
The 2024 Paris Olympics will have a 12-team competition. Since three qualified in 2022, they need to find the other nine. The top nine teams in the standings after the qualification round out of those yet to qualify for the Olympics will earn a team berth in the Olympics. It will not be determined by the team finals like it was in 2022. When those teams qualify, their gymnasts will not be competing with Aleah for an Olympic spot.
How will I know if she’s qualified after Monday?
If you’re looking at the live results on Monday and wish to know if Aleah qualified, check the team standings first. Look at the top teams from qualifications and figure out the top nine when excluding the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Then look at the all-around standings and eliminate gymnasts from those 12 teams. If Aleah is one of the top 14 all-arounders after doing that, she’s made the Olympics.
What if she isn’t?
There’s still one more way she can qualify if she doesn’t do it on Monday. If she qualifies to the finals on an apparatus, she will qualify to that event’s final. Vault and bars finals are Saturday, October 7 while beam and floor finals are Sunday, October 8. If she has the highest score in an event final among those who have not already qualified for the Olympics (on a team or as an all-arounder), she will qualify to the Olympics. In doing so, she will be able to compete on all four events, not just the one on which she earned her spot. Compatriot Carlos Yulo dd this Saturday when he qualified for the floor event finals and was the only person to do so who hadn’t already qualified to Paris.
LSU has a proud tradition of producing Olympians, but they’ve never had one who was either enrolled or an alumna who made the Olympics in women’s gymnastics, though Ruby Harrold did so before enrolling when representing the United Kingdom in Rio. A Filipina hasn’t qualified as an Olympic artistic gymnast since Evelyn Magluyan and Maria-Luisa Floro did so for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.