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Thursday 24 September 2015
With just less than a month to go until the FIG 2015 World Gymnastics Championships gets underway in Glasgow, organisers today revealed the medals that will be awarded to the gymnasts who reach the greatest heights in each of the 14 captivating medal events.
There are Team and Individual All-Around competitions for both men and women, plus individual apparatus finals for men on Vault, Floor, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars, Rings and Horizontal Bar and for women on Vault, Floor, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam.
Bars, Vault or Pommel Horse, it doesn’t matter what piece of equipment the gymnasts turn to – you know they’ll push the boundaries to conquer it. Gymnastics is the ultimate in control, balance and perfect execution - sheer strength wrapped up in grace.
And with the stage set, who from amongst the 600 plus competitors representing a record 91 countries will qualify for the finals and sparkle in the arena to win the coveted 42 medals?
Great Britain has never won a medal in the Men’s Team event and having finished fourth at the last World Championships in Nanning, China, the British Team will be looking to the home crowd to cheer them all the way to the podium. Also, Japan, a world force in gymnastics in the 1960s winning five men’s team titles in a row, have been denied gold by the Chinese on the last four occasions. Will the SSE Hydro be where they break the mould and return to the top of the podium?
In the Women’s Team competition the USA, current world and Olympic champions would seem unbeatable judging by recent events and they will look to make it three golds in a row here in Glasgow.
Amongst an array of world stars, fans in Glasgow will have a unique opportunity to watch history unfold in the Men's and Women's All-Around competitions, as reigning world champions Kohei Uchimura (JPN) and Simone Biles (USA) both strive to set new marks in the record books.
Uchimura, one of the greatest male gymnasts in history, will be going for his sixth consecutive World All-Around title, something no man has ever achieved. Unbeaten in World All-Around competition since the 2008 Olympic Games, Uchimura has enjoyed a long reign at the very top of the sport and shows no signs that the sun is setting on his dominance.
For her part, Biles will attempt to win her third consecutive world All-Around crown. The 18-year-old American is aiming to become the only woman in the modern era of gymnastics to win three in a row. But Romanian Larisa Iordache, All-Around silver medallist in Nanning and on Floor is sure to feature. Larisa took gold at the Glasgow World Cup last year and we loved giving her a sneak peak of the Hydro when she was here!
We also hope to welcome back to Glasgow Great Britain’s Downie sisters, Becky and Ellie who just love the city’s vibe. Beckie was the 2014 European Bars champion and having missed out on London 2012 with injury, is fired up to book a seat on the plane to Brazil next year. Younger sister Ellie took an incredible European Championships All-Around bronze earlier this year at just 15 years of age. Commonwealth Games crowd pleaser Claudia Fragapane, who became queen of the SSE Hydro last summer, winning a record four golds for Team England, also looks set to make the return trip to this world-class venue which she loved so much.
With Rio 2016 Olympic qualification also up for grabs this year, hosts Brazil will be looking to show what they have to offer. Look out for Arthur Zanetti on Rings who has won medals in this discipline at the last three World Championships and became the surprise Olympic champion at London 2012, however he will be challenged all the way by Liu Yang of China - the current World Champion in this apparatus from Nanning 2014. The experienced Brazilian Diego Hypolito will grace the Floor, whilst we also hope to see Glasgow World Cup star Sergio Sasaki return to the city for the Championships.
On Parallel Bars, marvel at the strength of Ukranian, Oleg Verniaiev who topped the Glasgow World Cup All-Around standings last December and talking of All-Around athletes, Great Britain’s Max Whitlock, silver medallist at last year’s World’s would like nothing better than to step it up to gold in front of British fans in Glasgow, challenged all the way by teammate and Scot, Daniel Purvis.
Also widely tipped to be in the GB team is the 2015 World Championships Ambassador and Pommel specialist Louis Smith, who is no stranger to the podium having won three World Championships medals on this piece of apparatus, not to mention Olympic silver at London 2012.
Colin Hartley, Championship Director said: “Gymnasts from 91 countries across the world are putting the finishing touches to their routines, before they descend on Glasgow next month for the biggest single sport event the city has ever hosted.
“We are delighted to reveal the medals today which will be presented to those who deliver the ultimate performance, in front of the record crowds who have already bought more than 44,000 tickets to watch in awe as the gymnasts vie for a place on the podium.”
With all final entries by name expected to be confirmed in the next week, Glasgow and Scotland looks forward to welcoming the best in the world to the Worlds, so make sure you’re there to see your pick of the action!
Tickets for the World Gymnastics Championships can be purchased at www.2015worldgymnastics.com.