The gymnasts are arriving!

29.09.2019 16:52 Uhr

With just five days to go until the start of the championships, the gymnasts, coaches and officials have been arriving from all corners of the globe.

The training halls are in full swing as the gymnasts acclimatise themselves to their temporary home in Stuttgart.

One such gymnast is world and Olympic champion on rings, Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece, who talked about his first impressions of the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle.

“We arrived yesterday, so we are just trying to get the feel of the place. Where the training halls are, accreditation and everything,” he says. “We just finished our first training session and everything looks perfect. The organisation so far is fine.”

Eleftherios Petrounias

Petrounias had surgery earlier this year on his left shoulder, for an injury that had been troubling him for some time. It had been a problem at the 2018 world championships in Doha, where he won gold on rings despite the pain.

“It’s getting better,” he says. “It’s going to be ready for qualifications, and even more for the final.”

These world championships are also promoting the new FIG sport of parkour in a big way. Petrounias is all in favour.

“I think it’s a good idea to help parkour,” he says. It’s a very impressive sport, it was without any federation, so why not join the FIG and make it even better.”

Coinciding with these championships is Stuttgart’s famed beer and folk festival, the Cannstatter Wasen, held just across the road from the gymnastics arena. But the gymnasts are probably focussing more on their sport – at least to begin with.

“I had no idea there was a beer festival,” Petrounias exclaims. “We will join them for sure, to celebrate the results of our team!”

The championships start at 9am on Friday 4th with the women’s qualifications.

editor: Sarah Baldwin


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