13th FIG Artistic Apparatus World Cup starts tomorrow
DOHA (Qatar): 2016 Olympic champion Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece and three-time Olympian Vanessa Ferrari from Italy are among those will be aiming to book tickets to next month’s Tokyo Games at the 13th FIG Artistic Apparatus World Cup that starts here from tomorrow.
The two-day qualifiers on Tuesday followed by the finals will be held at the Aspire Dome without the fans.
“Implementing a comprehensive medical and security protocol providing the safeguards required to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the competition is one of our prime aims,” said LOC chairman Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi, who is also the Qatar Gymnastics Federation president.
Petrounias, master on the rings, did not qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the 2019 World Championships and this will be his last chance to earn an Olympic spot.
“I have to do the fight of my life,” the 30-year-old Greek said on his social media post. “There’s a lot of stress and scary pressure, but mainly anticipation for the fight.”
2006 World All-Around champion Ferrari also finds herself in a similar position as she also would be vying for an Olympic berth in the women’s floor exercise.
“The Doha World Cup is upon us. This will be a very important month,” the Italian said on her Instagram post.
Doha is the eighth and final stop on the 2018-2021 FIG Apparatus World Cup series, where some of the top-ranked gymnasts will have one last chance to book their places at the Games.
Among other popular names, Uzbekistan’s seven-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina have already qualified for the Games but the 46-year-old will use the Doha event as a perfect warm-up before the action shifts to Tokyo.
Turkey’s 2019 World Still Rings champion Ibrahim Colak, who has already qualified for the Summer Games, will also finetune his skills in the competition.
A total 26 countries have registered for this year’s event that was postponed last year due to the pandemic.
For the first time ever in its history since 2008, the high-profile competition will be held without fans due to the strict Covid19 protocols in place.
The Doha World Cup was scheduled from March 10-13 but was postponed until June.
“We are thankful to the Aspire Academy and Aspire Zone for their support. We also thank the Qatar Olympic Committee and Ministry of Public Health for approving the competition,” added Al Hitmi, who is also a FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) Executive Member.