LAUSANNE (SUI), FIG Office, June 7, 2012: The FIG Artistic Gymnastic Challenge Cup in Ghent (BEL), set for June 9 – 10, 2012, will give Olympic hopefuls a final opportunity to perform on the international stage before the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A total of 168 gymnasts representing 39 different countries are registered for an annual tournament that premiered in 2004 and will see its seventh edition this year. The experienced organisers from the Royal Belgian Gymnastics Federation, who recently successfully staged the European Championships for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics in Brussels, will also host the next FIG World Championships in 2013 in Antwerp. With 286 clubs and 100,000 gymnasts, “GymFed” is the third largest sports federation in Flanders. It is responsible for the development of Gymnastics in the region, for services to the clubs, support for both recreational and competitive gymnasts and the guidance of elite gymnasts.
Fans at the Topsporthal Vlaanderen will be treated to a fascinating roster this coming weekend, including several gymnasts who have already qualified for London and others who still have to prove themselves in order to be selected for their countries’ Olympic teams.
On the men’s side, to the privileged list of the former belong World Champions Diego Hypolito and Arhur Zanetti of Brazil, Martin Konecny (CZE), Vlasios Maras (GRE), Kieran Behan (IRL), Daniel Corral (MEX) and Roman Kulesza (POL), while Daniel Keatings and Sam Oldham (GBR), Jeffrey Wammes and Epke Zonderland (NED) as well as Claudio Capelli and Pascal Bucher (SUI) are all still fighting for Olympic berths. Belarus, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico all have one non-nominative place to fill for London and all countries will be competing in Ghent with several gymnasts. For Belgium’s own Jimmy Verbaeys, the Challenge Cup represents the last opportunity to fulfil the national federation’s Olympic qualification criteria.
In the Women’s event, 11 confirmed London Olympians are competing in Ghent and many more are lining up at the Topsporthal Vlaanderen to take advantage of one of the last opportunities to impress their national selection committees before the Games. The latter include the Netherlands’ Wyomi Masela and Celine van Gerner, and Olympic Champion Catalina Ponor, and Diana Maria Chelaru and Youth Olympic runner-up on Floor Diana Laura Bulimar of Romania.
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The 2012 FIG Challenge Cup series concludes in Ostrava (CZE) in November.
About 2012 FIG Individual Apparatus Artistic Gymnastics World Cup and Challenge Cup Series
The 2012 FIG Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics series for Individual Apparatus includes one World Cup (category A) and six Challenge Cup (category B) competitions.
Zibo City (CHN) on April 7 – 8 will host the 2012 Individual Apparatus World Cups, while 2012 Challenge Cups will take place on March 22 – 25 in Cottbus (GER), March 28 – 30 in Doha (QAT), April 27 – 29 in Osijek (CRO), June 1 – 3 in Maribor (SLO), June 9 – 10 in Ghent and November 23 – 24 in Ostrava (CZE).
Separate World Ranking lists will be established for CIII, six for men and four for women, with the Individual Apparatus rankings including combined lists for World Cups and Challenge Cups.
Invitation to the Individual Apparatus World Cup is based on the CIII rankings from the 2011 World Championships, the 2011 World Cup Ranking List for Individual Apparatus and the 2011 Challenge Cup Ranking List, and is limited to twelve gymnasts with a maximum of two entries per country on each apparatus. Moreover, the organising member federation can grant wild cards to a maximum of one man and one woman on one apparatus. The competitions include Qualifications and Finals with the best four gymnasts per apparatus proceeding to the final round. An additional one wild card per Men’s and Women’s competition is allowed in the event that the host federation fails to qualify for the Finals.
The Challenge Cup series is an open category featuring qualifying and final rounds, with participation limited to two gymnasts per country and apparatus. The best eight gymnasts per apparatus advance to the Final. An extra one wild card per Men’s and Women’s competition is allowed in the event that the host federation fails to qualify for the Finals.
The winners of the 2012 Individual Apparatus World Cup and Challenge Cup Series are those gymnasts with the highest number of points for each apparatus and the best four results counting after the last event in Ostrava, where special award ceremonies will be held and the winners will receive a cup.