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Written by Admin    Tuesday, 14 October 2008 19:06    PDF Print
Great Britain Gets Set for the Glasgow Grand Prix
Louis Smith's Beijing bronze and the 2012 Olympics have led to increased ticket sales for this weekend's Glasgow Grand Prix.

Glasgow, site of the World Acrobatics Championships this past weekend, is gearing up for its annual artistic World Cup. Ticket sales have risen, British Gymnastics press liaison Vera Marinova-Atkinson told IG.

This year's edition of the annual competition features 91 gymnasts from 31 nations. The men's field is considerably deeper, with veteran world champions Jordan Jovtchev (Bulgaria), Yuri van Gelder (Netherlands), Mitja Petkovsek (Slovenia) and Aljaz Pegan (Slovenia).

Smith, the bronze medalist on pommel horse at August's Olympics in Beijing, and quadruple Junior European champion Daniel Keatings will champion the British cause.

The men's lineup also includes 2008 Olympic medalists Thomas Bouhail of France, the silver medalist on vault in Beijing, and Ukraine's Alexander Vorobyov, the bronze medalist on still rings.

2008 British Olympians Imogen Cairns and Marissa King headline the hosts' lineup in the women's competition. Ukrainians Alina Kozich and Daria Zgoba are the top-ranked guests after the late withdrawal of Russia's Ksenia Afanasyeva and Ksenia Semyonova.

Both the 2009 World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games will be in London, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games will be in Glasow.

The BBC will broadcast the competition on Sunday.

Glasgow Men's Roster
Marco Mayr Austria
Donna-Donny Truyens Belgium
Barend Verbeke Belgium
Diego Hypolito Brazil
Mosiah Rodrigues Brazil
Arthur Zanetti Brazil
Jordan Jovtchev Bulgaria
Tomas Gonealez Chile
Felipe Pinto Chile
Yan Mingyong China
Tomislav Markovic Croatia
Marijo Moenik Croatia
Robert Seligman Croatia
Irodotos Giorgallas Cyprus
Isaac Botella Spain
Manuel Carballo Spain
Ilkka Kuusela Finland
Kalle Maeitta Finland
Timo Nremela Finland
Tomi Tuuha Finland
Thomas Bouhail France
Danny Pinheiro-Rodrigues France
Raphael Wignanitz France
Adam Cox Great Britain
Daniel Keatings Great Britain
Ruslan Panteleymonov Great Britain
Theo Seager Great Britain
Louis Smith Great Britain
Kristian Thomas Great Britain
Matthias Fahrig Germany
Thomas Taranu Germany
Eleftherios Kosmidis Greece
Vasileios Tsolakidis Greece
Kristian Berki Hungary
Vid Hidvegi Hungary
Eduard Gholub Israel
Alexander Shatilov Israel
Mohammad Abdullah Abu-Saleh Jordan
Tariq Abu Ayad Jordan
Ali Alasi Jordan
Yevgeny Sapronenko Latvia
Yuri van Gelder Netherlands
Epke Zonderland Netherlands
Adam Kierzkowski Poland
Marek Lyszczarz Poland
Luis Aranjo Portugal
Gustavo Simoes Portugal
Nasser Al-Hamad Qatar
Mahmood Al-Sadi Qatar
Marius Berbecar Romania
Alin Jivan Romania
Konstantin Pluzhnikov Russia
Alexander Balandin Russia
Dmitry Stolyarov Russia
Saso Bertoncelj Slovenia
Ziga Britovsek Slovenia
Alen Dimic Slovenia
Rok Kiavora Slovenia
Aljaz Pegan Slovenia
Mitja Petkovsek Slovenia
Christoph Schärer Switzerland
Samuel Piasecky Slovakia
Wajdi Bouallegue Tunisia
Andrei Isayev Ukraine
Alexander Suprun Ukraine
Alexander Vorobyov Ukraine
Glasgow Women's Roster
Aagje Vanwalleghem Belgium
Juliana Santos Brazil
Miranda Milena Brazil
Bibiana Velez Colombia
Catalina Escobar Colombia
Nathalia Sanchez Colombia
Mercedes Alcaide Spain
Naomi Ruiz Spain
Annika Urvikko Finland
Fanni Helminew Finland
Imogen Cairns Great Britain
Marissa King Great Britain
Jenny Brunner Germany
Kim Bui Germany
Susann Herbst Germany
Dorina Boczogo Hungary
Laura Gombas Hungary
Katja Bou Orm Lebanon
Anne Tritten Netherlands
Sanne Wevers Netherlands
Sasa Golob Slovenia
Adela Sajn Slovenia
Valentina Holenkova Ukraine
Alina Kozich Ukraine
Daria Zgoba Ukraine

Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 13 October 2008 20:03    PDF Print
Milan Warms Up for Europeans

Milan, site of the 2009 Europeans, will get a warm-up this fall with the Italian Grand Prix.

The Italian Grand Prix on Nov. 22 features competition for men's and women's artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics.

The competition will take place at the 12,000-seat Datch Forum di Assago, site of next spring's European Championships.

The contract for the 2009 European Championships, to be held March 30-April 5, was signed this past weekend by European Gymnastics Union President Dimitrios Dimitropoulos.

The last European Championships in Italy was the men's competition held in Rome in 1981. The now-defunct European Cup also was held in Rome, in 1995.

The competition is the third official individual European Championships for individuals. Italy was golden at the previous individual championships in 2005 and 2007. In 2005, Francesca Benolli won women's vault, and Andrea Coppolino tied for the gold on still rings. In 2007, Vanessa Ferrari won the all-around and floor exercise titles, and Carlotta Giovannini won women's vault.

Written by Admin    Wednesday, 01 October 2008 07:50    PDF Print
FIG Clears Chinese Champions
He Kexin
The FIG announced Wednesday that it had concluded its inquiry into the age of Chinese gymnasts at the 2008 Olympic Games, finding no evidence of age falsification.

The federation said it confirmed all six gymnasts were of legal competition age in Beijing. At the FIG's request, the Chinese Gymnastics Association provided official documents including passports, identity cards and household registers that supported their age.

The IOC urged the FIG to open an investigation into the ages of Chinese team members He Kexin and Yang Yilin, after accusations were made during the Olympics that the two were under the minimum competition age of 16.

The Chinese women won the team gold medal in Beijing, and He Kexin won the gold medal on the uneven bars. Yang won bronze medals in the all-around and on uneven bars.

"Asians have different figures than people from the West, so that's what caused their suspicion," said men's head coach Huang Yubin, when asked about the controversy. "They shouldn't be suspicious."

The federation said it is still looking into the ages of 2000 Olympians Yang Yun and Dong Fangxiao. China won the bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, which concluded eight years ago Tuesday.

Yang said in an interview that she was 14 in Sydney, but explained later it was a slip of the tongue.

"The FIG does not consider the explanations and evidence provided to date in regards to these athletes as satisfactory," the federation said in a statement Wednesday.

FIG Secretary General Andre Gueisbuhler said Dong obtained a credential for the 2008 Olympics using documents that indicate she was only 14 in 2000, according to the AP. Dong worked as line judge in Beijing.

"I would hope that the whole world in sport realizes that the FIG is serious about these rules and the ethics and moral questions," Gueisbuhler said.

Since an age requirement of 15 was first established in 1981, numerous gymnastics champions have admitted after retirement that they competed using false documents, including Soviets Olga Bicherova and Olga Mostepanova, and Romanians Lavinia Agache, Gina Gogean, Alexandra Marinescu and Daniela Silivas.

The only nation punished to date for age falsification in gymnastics is North Korea, which was banned from the 1993 World Championships after varying birthdates were given for Kim Gwang Suk. Kim was registered as 15 years old at the 1989 World Championships, at the 1991 World Championships and at the 1992 Olympic Game.

The minimum age requirement was changed to 16 beginning in 1997.

Written by Admin    Sunday, 28 September 2008 10:11    PDF Print
Zou Kai to Auction Olympic Gold
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Zou Kai (China)

China's Zou Kai will auction one of his three gold medals from the 2008 Olympics to benefit his quake-stricken home province of Sichuan.

Zou announced Friday his plan to auction his floor exercise gold medal and donate the money to reconstruction projects in Sichuan, which suffered a catastrophic earthquake in May.

At the Olympics in August, the 20-year-old Zou also won gold medals with the Chinese team and on the high bar. His three golds were the most of any gymnast in Beijing.

"The floor exercise title belongs to myself, so I'd rather select this gold medal. I was born in Sichuan and I was so sad when the earthquake struck the region," he said at a press conference.

Zou was training in Beijing — site of the 2008 Olympics — with the national team when the 8.0-magnitude quake struck May 12, killing nearly 70,000 and leaving millions homeless.

"A lot of my town's citizens lost their lives and a lot of houses were toppled," Zou said. "I'd like to share my honor from the Olympics with them and hope to do something for them. So I made up my mind the second day after the Olympics closed to auction one of my gold medals for the reconstruction of the earthquake-hit area."

The Chinese men won seven of eight possible gold medals at the Olympics in Beijing, matching the Soviet men's performance at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

Written by Amanda Turner    Wednesday, 24 September 2008 13:03    PDF Print
FIG Investigating Yang, Dong

Dong Fangxiao at the 2000 Olympcs in Sydney
The FIG has expanded its investigation of the Chinese female gymnasts' ages to include members of the 2000 Olympic team, it was reported Wednesday.

Secretary General Andre Gueisbuhler said the FIG is looking into reports of falsified ages of 2000 Olympians Dong Fangxiao and Yang Yun, members of the bronze-medal winning team in Sydney.

The FIG reported after the conclusion of the Olympics in Beijing that it would look into the ages of gold medalists He Kexin and Yang Yiilin.

The ages of the Chinese gymnasts was one of the biggest stories of the recent Olympics. The widespread media coverage also included mentions of Yang Yun's age in Sydney.

"If we had a look at all the articles that came before, during and after the games, there were always rumors about the ages of China's athletes in Sydney," Gueisbuhler told The Associated Press.

Yang, who also won the 2000 Olympic bronze medal on uneven bars, said in a 2007 television interview that she was 14 at the time. Dong, whose birth year is listed as 1983, reportedly has a blog which lists a birth year of 1985.

"We did not have another choice," Gueisbuhler said. "If we want to remain credible, then we have to look into things."

If age falsification is confirmed and the FIG took steps to nullify China's results in 2000 or 2008, the U.S. team would be the immediate beneficiary. The Americans finished second behind China in 2008 and fourth in 2000.

Ukrainian Viktoria Karpenko would be upgraded to the bronze if Yang were stripped of her individual bronze on uneven bars in Sydney.


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