Stuttgart Worlds: Global glory on the line
04.10.2019 12:50 Uhr
As the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships return this week to Stuttgart (GER), FIG President Morinari Watanabe said, “Now, the World Championships have come back to Germany, which is Gymnastics’ home. I congratulate the organisers in Stuttgart from the bottom of my heart.”
Site of the 1989 and 2007 World Championships, Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Hall will once again play host to the World Championships, this year attracting more than 540 gymnasts from a record 92 nations. Taking place 4-13 October, the 2019 World Championships will award 14 sets of medals as well as team and individual Olympic berths in the final global competition before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo (JPN).
“On the eve of competition, we can say that Stuttgart and the region have been gripped by World Championships fever,” said Dr. Alfons Hölzl, President of the German Gymnastics Federation. “With this Gymnastics Worlds we want to inspire and set new trends for the sport. I think we are not only ready for this, but already well on the way.”
Wolfgang Drexler, President of the Swabian Gymnastics Federation added: “The audience response is phenomenal. We have already sold more than 90% of the tickets and expect 100,000 spectators from around the world in the arena. We are excited that we are able to provide the athletes with this fantastic stage for their performances!”
14 sets of medals at stake
The competition will determine the winners of eight sets of medals for men (Team, All-around, Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and Horizontal Bar) and six for women (Team, All-around, Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise). The medals, designed and produced exclusively by companies in the local Baden-Wurttemberg region, took more than 2 1/2 years to create and are adorned with sustainable ribbons.
Olympic qualification continues
Olympic qualification, which kicked off at last year’s World Championships in Doha (QAT), continues in Stuttgart, where the top nine teams in each discipline will qualify to Tokyo (excluding the three already qualified by winning team medals in 2018 – People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, and Japan for the men, and the United States, Russian Federation, and People’s Republic of China for the women).
Additionally, individuals from countries that do not qualify teams to Tokyo have a chance to earn Olympic berths in Stuttgart. The top 12 male and top 20 female gymnasts in the All-around qualifications will qualify to Tokyo, with a maximum of one gymnast per nation in each discipline.
In addition, the three highest placed eligible athletes on each apparatus from apparatus finals will earn one quota place for the Olympics with a maximum of three gymnasts per country for all apparatus.
Click here for more on the 2020 Olympic qualification process and refer to the applicable rules.
Defending champions return
The American women and Chinese men, the team champions from Doha, have brought their strongest teams to Stuttgart to in defense of their titles.
All 12 individual champions from 2018 are in Stuttgart as well. In the women’s competition, American Simone Biles (All-around, Vault, Floor Exercise), Belgian Nina Derwael (Uneven Bars), and China’s Liu Tingting (Balance Beam) are back, while Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan (All-around and Floor Exercise), China’s Xiao Ruoteng (Pommel Horse) and Zou Jingyuan (Parallel Bars), Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias (Still Rings), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Ri Se Gwang (Vault), and the Netherlands’ Epke Zonderland (Horizontal Bar) are set to defend their world titles.
Simone Biles chases more records
Biles, the only female gymnast to win four world All-around titles, also owns the individual record for gold medals at the World Championships with 14. With 20 World medals to her name, Biles has a chance to become the most decorated gymnast in history as she eyes Belarusian legend Vitaly Scherbo’s record of 23 World medals won from 1991-1996. She won six medals in Doha, the first gymnast to win a medal in every event at the Worlds since 1987.
2016 Olympic champions star in Stuttgart
All but two of the reigning Olympic champions from 2016 are in the lineup in Stuttgart. In addition to Biles (All-around, Vault, and Floor Exercise), Petrounias (Still Rings) and Ri (Men’s Vault), 2016 Olympic champions Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands (Balance Beam), Max Whitlock of Great Britain (Men’s Floor Exercise and Pommel Horse) and Oleg Verniaiev of Ukraine (Parallel Bars) are chalking up to perform in front of a packed arena in Stuttgart.
The established stars of the sport will face off with rising stars of sport hoping to make their marks in Stuttgart.
Olympic champions Fabian Hambuechen (GER) and Catalina Ponor (ROU), now retired, are serving as the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Ambassadors.