The 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Set for Lift Off
A star-studded women’s and men’s teams have been selected to represent Great Britain at the forthcoming 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha. In truth, they are all household names, ready to do us proud in Qatar from October 25th to the 3rd of November.
Hands Across the Sea
This sparkling event will feature more than 700 male and female gymnasts from across 80 countries over 10 days of enthralling competition. And standards, as you might expect, will be extremely high as we get ever nearer to Tokyo 2020. In fact, for many, this offers a great opportunity for early Olympic selection involving supreme tests of ability in the all-around, individual apparatus and team events. The competition has never been greater, all adding up to what should be the best Championships yet.
Ladies Leading the Way
For our ladies, the championships will see both Ellie and Becky Downie returning from injury, though both are now fit, fully prepared, and ready to go. They are in every sense, a very welcome boost given their expertise and experience.
Ellie was the first gymnast to win a major All-Around title for Great Britain of course, and her sister Becky is a double European and Commonwealth Games champion on the uneven bars. The prides of Nottingham will be looking for a strong performance in Doha, along with the popular Georgia-Mae Fenton from East London.
Georgia is the current Uneven Bars Commonwealth Games Champion who also competed at the recent European Championships in Glasgow.
Alice Kinsella from the Park Wrekin club was another team member who did well in Scotland, along with Kelly Simm from Dynamo, Southampton.
Britain’s Motivated Men
As for the men, our hopes remain just as high with a team containing names we are all familiar with at the high-end of competition.
Max Whitlock MBE is a five-time Olympic medallist and an ambassador for the sport. He’s also in the form of his life and sure to excel in such a dramatic arena. Max will be joined by the very talented Joe Fraser from The City of Birmingham club, who is no stranger to performing under pressure.
Dom Cunningham, also from Birmingham, won Individual Floor Gold at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow and looks set to add to his impressive collection of medals.
And how about Olympic Bronze medallist Nile Wilson? He was also a member of the Silver-Medal winning British team at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Nile became the first British gymnast ever to win five Gold Medals at the European Junior Gymnastics Championships.
That leaves us with James Hall – a member of the British Senior team since 2014, who has also won All-Around Bronze in the European Artistic Gymnastic Championships, as well as a Team Gold and an individual All-Around Silver in the Commonwealth Games.
Building Toward Tokyo
James Thomas, British Gymnastics Performance Director said: “The Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha represent the start of the qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Building on from the European Championships and with a number of gymnasts returning from injury, we had several world-class gymnasts pushing for team selection through the recent competition trials. The selected team for Doha gives us the opportunity to make a positive start to our Olympic qualification campaign, going head-to-head with the world’s best in the team competition and pushing for medals on key apparatus.”
An Amazing Arena
The action will take place in the superb surroundings of the world’s largest multi-purpose dome, able to host 13 different sporting events in a climate-controlled area. There’s even a full-size quality football pitch and the facilities are some of the best on the planet.
Interestingly, the time difference is just one hour so following the event through the media won’t be a problem. They know how to put on a show in Qatar, and the Aspire Academy is certain to bring out the very best in our athletes.
On Top of the World
In recent years, countries like Russia, Romania and The United States have dominated the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships – but given British Gymnastics has never been so strong, this could be the year when our men and women steal the headlines.
Let’s hope our teams can enjoy that ‘on top of the world’ feeling.
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