TOKYO (JPN), FIG Office, October 2, 2011: On behalf of FIG President Prof. Bruno Grandi, who is expected in Tokyo on October 6, FIG Vice-President Dr. Michel Léglise (FRA) delivered a message of welcome to representatives of the 80 federations participating in the 43rd Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at today’s orientation meeting (Japan Gymnastic Association).
Léglise recalled the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit north-eastern Japan on March 11 this year, and he invited the meeting’s attendees to observe a minute’s silence in order to demonstrate empathy and support for the victims of this natural disaster. He then thanked the delegates for their participation and the Organising Committee for their tremendous work in preparing this event, and said he was looking forward to a successful tournament, wishing everyone good luck.
Mitsuo Tsukahara (JPN), Vice-President of the Japan Gymnastic Association (JGA), cordially welcomed the delegates to Japan and expressed his gratitude for all the messages of sympathy that the JGA had received since the earthquake. He promised the JGA would stand united and do its best in hosting these championships, particularly in providing ideal conditions for the gymnasts.
The President of the Local Organising Committee, Morinari Watanabe (JPN), took the audience through the organisational details, before Dr. Léglise issued a reminder that doping controls can take place at any time during the event. He also informed the delegates about a Medical Symposium aimed at medical personnel, to be held on October 16.
Adrian Stoica (ROU) and Nellie Kim (BLR), FIG Technical Committee Presidents for Men’s and Women’s Artist Gymnastics respectively, offered warm words of welcome and wished the best of luck to all participants, while FIG staff members gave an update on media activities during the event.
A record 530 media representatives are expected to cover these championships, which will be televised in more than 100 territories. Host broadcaster Fuji TV will use the spidercam technology, first introduced to gymnastics at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam (NED), and will produce high-definition images of the competitions.
Watanabe closed the meeting by wishing all gymnasts good luck in their competitions, and said that he hoped the event would be enjoyable for everyone involved.