Zanetti, Hypolito to battle for top honours in Doha
Doha (QAT) March 19, 2015: The tournament sponsors of the eighth FIG ART World Challenge Cup pose with Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) President Ali Al Hitmi (centre) during a press conference at the Holiday Villa Hotel in Doha on Tuesday. PICTURE: Qassim Rahmatullah
DOHA: Brazilian ring specialist Arthur Zanetti will lead the star cast at the eighth FIG ART World Challenge Cup next week, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
The three-day gymnastics event — the second leg of a six-stop international series — will also feature top gymnasts Diana Laura Bulimar from Romania and Americans Jacob Dalton and Danell Leyva.
Qatar will be represented by Farah Mahmoud, Ahmed Al Dayani and Mahmoud Al Saadi — Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) President Ali Al Hitmi said.
Altogether 128 gymnasts, 84 males and 44 females, will participate in the event which will be held at Aspire Academy
from March 25-27, Al Hitmi confirmed.
Zanetti, who won the gold medal in rings exercise at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, will be joined by 28-year-old floor exercises superstar Diego Hypolito.
Al Himti said Colombian gymnasts will make their debut at the Doha gymnastics gala. The Qatari capital will be the second stop of the 2015 World Challenge Cup series.
The first event will be held in Cottbus, Germany, from March 19 to 22. The third event will be held from April 3 to 5 in Ljubljana.
“Most of the gymnasts will want to test their preparations and wish to be in the best shape while entering the World Championships later this year, which is the qualifying event for the Rio Olympic Games 2016,” Al Hitmi said at a press conference here.
“Three years ago we staged the fifth edition just four months before the London Olympic Games and we got to witness a high intensity of competition at Aspire Academy,
“In light of the unlimited support of Qatar’s leadership and their continuous guidelines for Qatari sports officials in general, and gymnastics officials in particular, we were able to earn the
confidence of the FIG that awarded our beloved country the rights to host this event,” Al Hitmi said.
“Our ambitions now have no limits. After hosting this event, out next goal will be world artistic gymnastics championship in 2018,” he said.
“We have the best possible facilities and infrastructure to host any world-class event. We have qualified manpower working professionally. This makes us ambitious to go for bigger events like the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships,” the QGF President said.
According to the QGF President, gymnasts from Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iraq, Jordan, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia,
Switzerland, Taipei, Turkey, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Vietnam will take part in the competition.
Competition Manager Al Buainain said: “I am proud that Qatar has the best gymnastics training centers in the region, which are ready to host the participating teams.”
QGF’s Anis Saoud, the Venue Manager and Technical Secretary of the QGF, was also present during Tuesday’s press conference.
Later the QGF signed event sponsorship contracts with Khazan Company, DANA Water, The Look Company, Aspire Academy, Strike Be and Carrefour.
Saoud said the final day of the competition would be broadcast live by Al Kass Sports Channel.