The 34th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships kicks off in Stuttgart

Stuttgart, Sept 7, 2015: Featuring a total of 279 gymnasts (143 individuals and 136 gymnasts representing 24 Groups), the 34th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships began Monday in Stuttgart (GER).

With less than a year to go before the 2016 Olympic Games, this World Championships is the first qualifying event for nations to earn Olympic berths for Rio in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

The sport of Gymnastics has solid ties to the city of Stuttgart, recalled FIG President Bruno Grandi (ITA) during a press conference Monday at the Porsche Arena.

“Stuttgart is a very important city for us. This is the third time that we are organising a World Gymnastics Championships here, the last being the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2007, which was also a qualifier for the Beijing Olympic Games. We have a lot of confidence in this city and in the German Gymnastics Federation,” Grandi said. “In Stuttgart we have not only organisers who possess extensive knowledge in running Gymnastics competitions, but the spectators are true fans of the sport.”

Günther Kuhnigk, Director of the city of Stuttgart’s Department of Sports, underlined that “Gymnastics is one of the major sports in Stuttgart.”
“We have excellent venues in place for Gymnastics and we are very proud to show this during these World Championships,” he added.

“With events like these World Championships, we intend to foster development for sport on a political level. We aim to make the city move and inspire its citizens to get active,” said Rainer Brechtken, the president of German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) .

With the Olympics on the horizon, the World Championships have already drawn a great deal of attention. “Everyone wants to go to the Olympics,” Grandi said. “As such, the judges must realise the responsibility that they have.”

While five judges from the 2014 Rhythmic World Championships were recently sanctioned by the FIG Disciplinary Commission for biased judging, Grandi noted that judges are closely monitored and that any attempt to favorite a gymnast is easily detected in the FIG’s technical analysis.

“Rhythmic Gymnastics is a beautiful sport, there’s no doubt about it,” Grandi added. “But this sport must be judged and it’s not always easy to put a number on the aesthetic part. There can be a small margin between the judges in evaluating execution, but the judgment must stay within this margin. Otherwise, there has clearly been a mistake.”

Nine World titles are at stake this week in Stuttgart: five individual titles (All-around, Ball, Ribbon, Hoop and Clubs) and a team title, and three Group titles (All-around, 5 Ribbons and 3 Pairs of Clubs/2 Hoops). —- FIG

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