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Aspire gears up to host 2nd FIG Artistic World Gymnastics meet

23 September, 2009

Aspire gears up to host 2nd Artistic World Gymnastics meet


Doha The Aspire Academy, which is scheduled to host the second Artistic World Gymnastics from September 28 to 30 saw gymnasts from Yemen and Portugal hit the training area on Wednesday to prepare for the prestigious event.

Yemen’s Nashawan Haider al Harazi who participated in 2008 Beijing Games was the first to arrive to get a feel of the training area. Al Harazi was accompanied at the training area by his teammate Mohamed Wahib Sharif who, too, looked eager to excel in this world-class event.

The five-member Portuguese men’s team led by Manuel Campos, Luis Araujo, Bernardo Graca, Simao Almeida, Gustavo Simoes also arrived on Wednesday to participate in this year’s event. Other teams are scheduled to arrive from Wednesday night. Altogether 191 male and female gymnasts from 24 nations are scheduled to take part in this event.

Addressing a press conference recently, the president of Qatar Gymnastics Federation Ali Ahmed al Hitmi said: “This is the third most important gymnastics meet after the Olympics and World Championships as only six such competitions are staged every year by the Federation International of Gymnastics (FIG).”

Some of the top guns who will participate in this year’s event include Athens Olympics horizontal bar gold medallist Italy’s Igor Cassina, Beijing Olympics silver medallist France’s Thomas Bouhail, World and European Championships gold medallist Greece’s Vlasios Maras in men’s events. In women’s section, Beijing Olympics silver medallist on vault Germany’s Oksana Chusovitina, and Chinese gymnasts Hu Yuhong and Sui Lu are expected to make this year’s competition a memorable one.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s charge will be led by Nasser al Hamad and Mahmood al Sadi in the men’s category, whereas Aljazy al Habshi will represent the country in women’s event. “Our gymnasts had attended training camps and competitions both in Leicester, UK, and Cairo, Egypt recently to prepare for this event. We’re preparing them for medals at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and Pan Arab Games in Doha in 2011,” said al Hitmi.