TOKYO (JPN), FIG News: FIG President Prof. Bruno Grandi (ITA) gave a warm welcome to the media representatives at the opening press conference on the eve of the 43rd Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.After the 1995 World Championships and 1998 World Cup Final in Sabae City, Japan welcomes Artistic Gymnastics for the third time at the highest level of competition. The FIG Council allocated the championships to Tokyo in 2005, in Orlando (USA).

“Gymnastics feels at home in Japan, because the Japanese Association has a long culture and strong traditions in Gymnastics and because they protect and develop the fundamental values of our sport,” President Grandi said.

“When Tokyo was selected as the host of these championships, nobody could imagine that your country would be shocked and affected by the terrible tragedy of March 11.

The FIG, its officials and all the gymnasts were saddened by this catastrophe. But in May this year, the FIG Council demonstrated its confidence and confirmed the decision to hold the 43rd World Championships in Tokyo as planned, showing our solidarity and responsibility.”

Looking forward to an exciting show and an event of high quality in full respect of the rules, President Grandi expressed his sincere gratitude to Mr. Hidenori Futagi, the President of the Japanese Gymnastics Association, whom he described as his friend and a great humanist. President Grandi also thanked Mr. Morinari Watanabe, President of the Local Organizing Committee, and his staff who are working hard to ensure the success of this event.

Prior the competition’s start, Tokyo 2011 has already broken records! With a media attendance of 530 journalists, photographers and technicians the championships will go down in the history of FIG World Championships, while television coverage in more than 120 territories breaks another record for Gymnastics.

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