Press Conference for the FIG ART Challenge Cup – Qatar 2011
DOHA (QAT) March 24, 2011: World’s top gymnasts, including Zou Kai of China double Olympic Champion Beijing 2008 in Floor exercise and Horizontal bar will participate also in the Vault at this event; Daniela Hypolito of Brazil was the Brazilian gymnast who competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. Hypólito was the first athlete from Brazil ever to win a medal at the World Championships, a silver on floor exercise in 2001and, and the Chinese Yao Jinnan and Tan Sixin the two young guns wowed the crowd in Cottbus where Yao took the titles on Uneven Bars, Beam and Floor and young Olympian Tan earned Silver on Floor. will be seen in action during next week’s FIG Challenge Cup to join 165 gymnasts from 24 countries in a list that also includes hosts Qatar.
This was disclosed by Ali Al Hitmi, President of Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF), during a press briefing at Al Retaj Hotel. The FIG Challenge Cup – one of just six events in the world – will be held from March 30 to April 1 at Aspire Academy.
“This is one of the top events in the world. Names like Daniela and Zou are confirmed entires. The Qatar Gymnastics Federation has also fielded a team of five gymnasts,” Al Hitmi said.
“Fans will also see Australia’s Ashleigh Jade Brennan. Ashleigh participated in the 2006 Commonwealth Games where she won an individual silver medal,” the QGF president said.
Al Hitmi confirmed that tournament will also line up Ali Al Asi, who wrote history in 2010 when he bagged Jordan’s second FIG World Cup gold medal.
He had won the title on rings and went down as a legend in Arab sports, having been crowed Best Arab Athlete 2010 by H E Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Governor of Dubai and Deputy of the United Arab Emirates, following this victory.
South Africa’s young Olympian Claudia Cummins and Nicole Szabo are registered in the women’s competition, according to Al Hittmi.
“Qatar will have two girls and four boys competing in the championship. They have been in training for quite some time now. We hope this event will give them a good opportunity to show how well they can do against the world’s best,” Mohammed Al Jaber, Secretary-General, QGF, said.
From this year, the former FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cups of the category B has been re-branded as ‘FIG Challenge Cup’ and represent an open series. This year, all FIG Challenge Cups are listed to stage Individual Apparatus Finals with overall prize money amounting to $55,000.
Qatari gymnast Al Jazy Al Habshi said: “I hope I can do well in this championship. We are preparing ourselves for the Pan Arab Games (to be held in Doha later this year). I have trained well.”
Nasser Al Hamad, keen for a medal in vault competition, said: “I was injured for a little over six weeks but now I am fully fit. I am a regular at gymnastics championships. Hopefully i can do well. World class gymnasts will be in Doha and this is a good opportunity for all of us.”
Mr. Mohamed Al-Jabir Competition Manager and Anis Saoud Venue Manager made a presentation to inform all the present person concerning the technical aspect of the event.
HSBC Bank are the event sponsors. Other event partners include Aspire Zone, Nestle, Al Kass Television and Al Retaj Hotel.
Hussain Al Abdullah, Head of Personal Financial Services, said: “HSBC is thrilled to be part of this world class gymnastics championship. HSBC understands the importance of sport as a tool to encourage positive change. HSBC supports the grassroots gymnastics programme presented by Qatar Gymnastics Federation.
By “The Peninsula” and OC