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9th Artistic Gymnastics to start on March 24.

Victor Bolorunduro

Doha

Over 100 gymnasts from 33 countries are scheduled to gather in Doha for the 9th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series which will take place at the Aspire Dome in Doha from March 24 to 26.

The event will see the world-class gymnasts showcasing their skills in six apparatus for men, floor exercises, pommel horse, rings, vaults, parallel bars and horizontal bars. For the women, gymnastics enthusiasts and fans will witness actions in vault, uneven bars, balance beam as well as floor exercises.

Among the headline stars expected in Doha are the Argentine duo of Nicolas Cordoba, the men's world No.1 in High Bar and Federico Molinari, the world No.3 in rings. Others are China's Zou Kai, winner of three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as two gold and one bronze at London Olympics. Zou will be making a return to competitive action in Doha after a three-year hiatus.

Brazil's Diego Hypolito, the world No.3 in vault as well as Tomislav Markovic, the world highest-ranked in floor exercise, will also be among the stars on parade, while Cuba will be represented at the event for the first time with 19-year-old Manrique Larduet, the All-Round silver medalist at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, representing the Caribbean island nation.

On the women side, World No.1 in uneven bars Filipa Martins of Portugal as well as Slovakia's Teja Belak, the topmost-ranked in vault are leading a galaxy of star athletes which include Jonna Adlerteg of Sweden and Switzerland's Ilaria Kaeslin among others.

For the hosts, one of the athletes to look out for is Ahmad Saleh al Dayani, winner of two gold medals (parallel bars and high bar) at the 6th GCC Men's Artistic Gymnastics Qatar 2008 and four gold medalist at the 2014 GCC Men's Artistic Gymnastics in Kuwait.

Winner of two gold medals at the 2010 Arab Men's Artistic Gymnastics in Kuwait, Mahmoud Mohammed al Saadi, is another Qatari gymnast who will be aiming to do the country proud at the three-day event.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, President of Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF), the event organizers, Ali Ahmad Essa al Hitmi said,"In light of the unlimited support of the wise leadership of the State of Qatar, we are able to earn the confidence of FIG who awarded us the rights to host this event. Our ambitions now have no limits, after hosting this event. Our next goal will be the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in 2018."

"We, in the QGF aim to bring in the vision of the Qatar Olympic Committee into reality and to make Doha the main sport destination in the Middle East. Hosting such an event will enable us to provide the opportunity for our youth to gain more experience so they can achieve the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030," he added.

SCHEDULE:

March 24: (14:00 20:00)

Qualification competition for men (6 apparatus)

Qualification for women (4 apparatus)

March 25: (17:00 20:00)

Apparatus Finals

Men Competition: Floor Exercises, Pommel Horse, Rings

Women Competition: Vault, Uneven Bars

March 26: (16:30 19:30)

Men Competition: Vault, Parallel Bars, Horizontal Bars

Women Competition: Balance Beam, Floor Exercises

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Mar 17, 2016
Words:552
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