Qatar eye gymnastics growth as top FIG event beckons
19 Mar 2017 - 0:35
By Rizwan Rehmat / The Peninsula
Qatar are hoping their top thee gymnasts Ahmed Al Dayani, Nabil Musa and Jana Elkeky will be 'quick to learn and improve' when they compete against the world's best at next week's FIG ART World Cup.
The trio will join a star cast that includes Romanian giant Marian Dragulescu, Australian delight Emily Little and Armenian duo Harutyun Merdinyan and Artur Davtyan at the March 22-25 event.
Hungary’s 2012 Olympic champion Krisztian Berki, the pommel horse giant, and veteran gymnast Catalina Ponor will also be part of the competitions at the Aspire Academy, the world's largest indoor sports facility. "The Qatar coaching staff have been busy spending time during long training sessions with the national team gymnasts," Abeer Al Buainain, Director of the Tournament, said.
"It is a very important event for our gymnasts. It will give them great opportunity to learn from top gymnasts," she added.
"We are confident our gymnasts will do well. We don't want to put pressure on them," she said in a statement released by Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF).
More than 240 gymnasts will feature in the 10th edition of the FIG ART World Cup, the highest number of entries in the event's history.
Qatar coach Camellia Michael, trainer Firas Ahmed and administrative staff member Samira Said have been attending to the needs of the gymnasts, Al Abeer informed.
"We are well aware of the competition strength. The world-beaters in gymnastics will be in action Doha. Some popular Olympic Games stars like Dragulescu will be competing in Doha. We are dealing with the possibility of our gymnasts doing well objectively," Al Abeer said.
"We don't want to put pressure on our athletes of getting medals. We want them to learn and improve and scale new heights," she said.
"That's how young gymnasts evolve into top athletes - by learning and improving all the time," she said.
When asked about medal prospects from the three home gymnasts, QGF President Ali Al Hitmi said last week: "This will be a great championship for our gymnasts to learn from. Qatari gymnasts have been preparing well. They even had training sessions with a British delegation last month."
"We will be hosting the 10th edition of the event and every year we have been fielding our own gymnasts so that they learn and improve. We have made significant progress over the years," Al Hitmi said.
"Our gymnasts know they will be up against the best in the world but we feel this is a great way to learn. At the same time, we will wait for good results from our gymnasts," he said in a separate chat last week.
Abeer said: "We have been working very hard to prepare for the tournament. We are ready to host the event. We have got every bit of equipment in place"
"Various committees associated with the event have been working round the clock. This is a big event as we celebrate the 10th edition," Abeer said.
She added: "All heads of the organising committees held a meeting on Thursday to discuss arrangements carried out so far."
Al Hitmi signed a series of sponsorship deals associated with the event sponsors at a press conference attended by local print and television media.