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McClenaghan, Ahmed and Kaylia top stars

16 April, 2024

DOHA: The 16th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Championships (Taishan) will start with the MAG and WAG qualification rounds at the Women’s Sports Committee Hall at Aspire Zone from tomorrow.

This year’s event assumes importance for most top gymnasts as it will be one of the qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

A host of top gymnasts from 55 participating countries will be vying for top honours in the men and women apparatuses.

McClenaghan’s star presence

Among the prominent gymnasts, reigning world champion on pommel horse, Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland will be aiming for a top finish.

The Northern Ireland-born gymnast has been in the news throughout his career.

The 24-year-old is a double world champion on pommel horse after having won gold at the 2022 and 2023 editions.

McClenaghan became the first Irish artistic gymnast ever to win world championship gold after he qualified for 2019 World Championships final in his pet event.

He made his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, where he finished seventh place. It was an amazing result but fell short of the podium finish due to a shoulder injury leading up to the Games.

Doha is favourite venue for Jordan’s Ahmed

Jordan and Arab world’s favourite and successful MAG gymnast Ahmed Abu Al Saud won gold medal on pommel horse at the Asian Championships in the Qatari capital two years ago.

This time too, the 28-year-old will be looking forward to cash in on the local support when he goes out to perform on the Pommel Horse apparatus.

After winning the gold at the Asian event, Ahmed became the first gymnast from his country win a medal (silver) at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool (England). He followed it up with another medal (bronze) at the 2023 World Championships in Antwerp (Belgium). It will be interesting to watch how he fares in a field that also features McClenaghan.

All eyes on Algeria’s Kaylia

By finishing in 13th place in the all-around during the qualification round in the Olympic cycle of World Cup Series, Algeria’s Kaylia Nemour has already qualified as an individual to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

But the 17-year-old will be hoping to finish at the top of WAG qualification chart at the qualifiers tomorrow.

The French-Algerian artistic gymnast, who was 2023 African all-around champion, currently represents Algeria in international competition.

Kaylia became the first African gymnast to win a medal at the 2023 World Championships where she won a silver on the uneven bars.

At the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Kaylia will be a serious contender for at least one podium spot.


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