MAG World Challenge Cup Wrap

They brought the passion and energy, with performances to be proud of across the MAG World Challenge Cup series. Heath Thorpe and Jose Caballero have truly made NSW proud.

Part of a five-squad Australian contingent, the #TeamNSW duo flipped and spun their way from France to Hungary for the world cup series. They featured in two out of the three events, with the last World Cup held in Turkey.

First up, the squad hit the gym floor for the Paris event, held from 24-25 September. Heath tackled three apparatus, coming in 14th for his floor routine with a score of 13.550. The 22-year-old followed up his performance with a score of 13.900 for vault and 12.850 for high bar. 

Pommel specialist Jose scored 12.250 on his apparatus, with a 31st placing in the qualification round. It was a strong start to the campaign.

The group then travelled to Szombathely in Hungary, where they produced some fantastic routines. From September 30 to October 2, the athletes stepped it up a notch and left it all on the gym floor.

Jose delivered a mesmerising performance on pommel to come in 12th place with a score of 13.750.

The 18-year-old says he was happy with his performance across the two events but was still hungry for more.

“I am happy with how I performed, however, I am far from satisfied,” he said. “I definitely learnt a lot about how I cope with an intense crowd and high calibre competitors so there is definitely a lot of positives to be taken from my performance.”

The best part of the tour was training with top athletes, he said. “Picking up little nuggets of information from multiple world class gymnasts which I can bring back to try and implement into my training is definitely an opportunity I could not pass up.”

For Heath, the Hungary event marked a huge milestone – his first international high bar final.

The 22-year-old placed 11th in floor, just missing out on a finals spot with a score of 13.500. His rings score of 12.550 earned him a 16th placing, with his high bar qualification score of 13.250 placing him 8th and into the finals.

There, Heath came an impressive 5th place with a score of 13.033.

And that’s all while experiencing some mental blocks and recovering from an injury. “Whilst a result I am proud of, I really didn’t get the chance to bring my full difficulty to this series,” he wrote on Instagram.

“Now it’s time for me to decompress, breathe a little and be kind to myself before preparations ramp up for World Championships next month in Liverpool!”

Congratulations to both Heath and Jose! And a big shoutout to their coach Yusuf Topari, who has provided the team with invaluable support and guidance.