With exactly a year to go to the 2016 Olympic Games, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has confirmed today that a record number of countries and gymnasts will travel to Glasgow this autumn to compete in the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, which includes opportunities to qualify for Rio.
615 gymnasts from 91 countries, including for the first time the Caymen Islands and Honduras, have pledged to take part in the 10 day event. Held at the SSE Hydro from 23 October – 1 November, World Gymnastics is one of the world’s largest single sport events and will showcase Glasgow and Scotland to an even wider global audience than the Commonwealth Games.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland has proven itself as the perfect stage for events in recent years and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow are another shining example of this. The event has attracted a record number of entries from more participating countries than ever before, demonstrating the appetite among world-class athletes to compete on the world stage in Glasgow. As an important qualifying event for the Rio Olympic Games, spectators at the SSE Hydro Arena are set to witness an exhilarating contest among the world’s finest gymnasts at the very pinnacle of their powers.”
FIG Technical Committee Presidents, Nellie Kim (BLR) and Steve Butcher (USA) have been in Glasgow this week to review the city’s plans for hosting the Championships and in addition to venue visits and briefings, the highlight of their trip was to conduct the official draw. Impressed by her visit to Glasgow this week, five times Olympic Champion and President of the FIG Women’s Technical Committee Nellie Kim said: “This is the biggest number of individuals ever recorded in the history of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The meticulous approach of the Organising Committee to each and every little detail of these Championships is truly impressive and I am sure that the experience, the effort and the wisdom put into the process of preparation will lead us all to a truly unique event.”
The draw is an important milestone and determines which teams will compete when during qualifying sessions, which can play an important role in strategy and preparation.
The Qualification rounds for both men and women take on further significance this year, as the top eight teams who qualify for the Final will also secure their place for the team competition at the 2016 Olympic Games. In addition, gymnasts who earn a medal in Individual Apparatus Event Finals in Glasgow also qualify directly to the Rio Games, provided they come from a country that has not already qualified a team.
The top 24 men’s and the top 24 women’s teams from the 2014 World Championships will take part in Glasgow 2015 along with 287 individual gymnasts from other nations (maximum of three per nation) who are allocated into mixed country groups.
The record entry in the women’s competition (297) has now be divided into 12 Subdivisions held over the opening two qualification days (23 and 24 October) with the session times extended, which will allow the public to see even more gymnastics action than ever before. The 8 men’s Subdivisions will go ahead as originally scheduled over the following two days (25 and 26 October).
With ticket sales already selling fast, news from the draw now enables spectators to find out which teams they can see in action at which Qualification session, when the world’s top gymnasts battle it out for the coveted title of 2015 World Champion.
Tickets are available from http://www.2015worldgymnastics.com/tickets.aspx
Tickets to support the British teams on the road to Rio are expected to be in particularly high demand with the draw confirming that the women will compete in Subdivision 4 on day 1 of the Championships (Friday 23 October) in the afternoon/evening session, with Olympic hosts Brazil. Italy, Russia, Poland and Germany will also be in action in that session.
Drawn in the least preferred Subdivision 1, Britain’s men will be looking to the home crowd for maximum support when they also pair up with Brazil and Peurto Rico in the morning session of day 3 (Sunday 25 October).
Full details of the draw can be found http://www.2015worldgymnastics.com/the-championships.aspx