For Rhythmic gymnasts, much at stake at 2015 Stuttgart World Championships

Stuttgart, Sept 4, 2015: More than World titles are on the line at this week’s Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, which begins Monday, September 7 in Stuttgart (GER).

The 2015 World Championships serve as the first of two qualifying competitions for the 2016 Olympic Games. The top 15 individuals (maximum two per country) and the top eight Groups will earn their countries berths for the competition in Rio. An additional two Groups may also earn their places based on the continental representation requirement, for a total of 10 Groups qualifying to the Games.

The following 23 eligible individuals and the top seven Groups that do not qualify directly to the Olympics will advance to the Rio Test Event April 22-24, where they will have a second chance to qualify for the Games.

Additionally, 20 places are up for grabs at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw (POL). These places will be allocated based on the results of the All-around final.

More than 280 gymnasts hailing from 56 nations from Angola to Venezuela have gathered to compete in Stuttgart (GER). Competition will be divided into Individual and Group competition. Individuals compete with the Hoop, Ball, Clubs and Ribbon, while Groups of five gymnasts compete routines using 5 Ribbons as well as 2 Hoops and 3 Pairs of Clubs. World titles are up for grabs in individual event finals and the All-around (general) competition.

Although a judged sport, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is dedicated to making sure routines are scored fairly, said FIG First Vice PresidentSlava Corn (CAN) during an orientation meeting for delegations Friday morning in Stuttgart.

“We are a judgement sport and I will not give a lecture, but we expect good, honest judging and fairness and good behavior by everyone in order to make sure that we have an excellent, positive image of our sport,” Corn told representatives of the 56 countries. “Our gymnasts deserve nothing less.”

“We understand our responsibility in organising fair and unbiased judging, and we are sure this World Championship will be successful,” added Nataliya Kuzmina(RUS), President of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee.

Russia, which celebrated its 80th anniversary of Rhythmic Gymnastics with a spectacular gala in St. Petersburg earlier this year, remains at the forefront of the sport. Seventeen-year-old Yana Kudryavtseva is the two-time reigning World All-around champion, and in Stuttgart she will be attempting to become the youngest-ever gymnast to win three consecutive World titles.

A number of international competitors, including Margarita Mamun (RUS) and 2012 Olympians Ganna Rizatdinova (UKR), Melitina Staniouta (BLR) and Son Yeon Jae (KOR) are expected to challenge for multiple medals at this World Championships.

After a disappointing performance at the 2014 World Championships, the Russian Group has appeared strong in competition this year, winning two of three events in the FIG World Cup series. Other Group competitors include reigning World All-around champions Bulgaria, as well as Italy, Belarus, Israel and Azerbaijan.

For more detailed information and a schedule of events at the 2015 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, please visit the FIG website Here. For more details on the 2016 Olympic qualification process for Rhythmic Gymnastics, please click here. —- FIG

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