Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships begins with colourful opening ceremony

Doha: The 9th Senior Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships got underway with team and all-Around competitions at the Aspire Dome yesterday.

The competition was officially launched by Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi at a colourful opening ceremony.   

“We welcome you all to Qatar. We hope you’ll have a great stay in Doha and wish you success,” said Al Hitmi, who is also the First Vice-President at International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). 

Some of the world’s and Asia’s top gymnasts will be looking to seal a berth for the 2022 FIG World Artistic Championships during the next three days. 

A total of 137 competitors from 21 countries are vying for top honours at the Asian event, which is being held in the Qatari capital after 2008. 

Day one featured competitions in men’s floor exercise, pommel horse, rings plus women’s vault and uneven bars. The men’s vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar and women’s balance beam and floor exercise events will unfold today.

Qatar Gymnastics Federation President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi during the opening ceremony, yesterday. 

The Team and All-Around finals will also serve as qualifications for the apparatus finals, which will be held on days three and four.

Five Asian teams of four gymnasts (MAG) including six from the All-Around competitions while four women teams of four gymnasts besides eight from All-Around events will be hoping to book a berth for the Worlds, scheduled to be held in Liverpool (United Kingdom) from 29 October to 6 November. 

According to FIG regulations for the Worlds, a total of 24 teams of five gymnasts for both MAG & WAG besides 40 individual MAG gymnasts from All-Around competitions and 49 for WAG will be eligible to qualify from the continental competitions.    

The outcome of the top teams (MAG and WAG) will be known after today’s events. 

Reigning champions China along with Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, central Asians Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia are among the 21 countries who are taking part in the competition. 

China, one of the powerhouses in world gymnastics, had dominated the medals table in the 2019 edition in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) with 18 podium finishes, including 10 gold medals followed by Japan.