Doha to host 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships
May 11 2014 01:36 AM

QOC secretary-general HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani  with members of the Qatari delegation and international gymnastics officials after Doha won the bid to host the 2018 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Kuwait yesterday.

Doha has won the right to host the 48th edition of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2018 following a decision announced by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in Kuwait yesterday.

This latest sporting success for Qatar saw a delegation of senior officials from the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and Qatar Gymnastics Federation overcome rival bids from Switzerland and the Netherlands. The delegation was led by QOC secretary general HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and Qatar Gymnastics Federation president Ali al-Hitmi.

Having impressed members of the FIG Executive Committee with a comprehensive bid offer, the prestigious win will see Qatar welcome the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships for the first time in the nation’s history, adding to its proud record and reputation as a successful host of major international sporting events.

The delegation delivered a compelling presentation to reflect Qatar’s sporting heritage and included a passionate plea to bring the championships to the Middle East by talented 18-year-old Qatari Shaden Wahdan.

Wahdan, the most successful artistic gymnast at the Arab Games Doha 2011 and reigning national senior female title holder, stressed  the championship’s immense potential  to reach out and inspire a new generation of gymnasts across the Middle East.

Commenting on why Doha was selected, FIG president  Bruno Grandi  said: “I do look forward to being in Doha in 2018. I congratulate my friends and all those who contributed to the success of this bid, in particular the National Olympic Committee. Gymnastics will be at home in Qatar!”

Speaking after the successful bid announcement, Sheikh Saoud said: “It is a great honour for Qatar to be granted the opportunity to host the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha in 2018. I’d like to thank the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for the trust their members have shown in Qatar and their confidence in our abilities to stage such a highly prestigious global event.

“Already we are looking forward to warmly welcoming the finest artistic gymnasts in the world to Doha in 2018 and hosting a truly memorable World Championships that is delivered to the highest possible standards. Qatar has strong foundations and commitment to Gymnastics through our successful Schools Olympic Programme but hosting the World Championships in 2018 has the potential to open up the sport even further and inspire a new generation.”

Commenting on the bid win, al-Hitmi said: “This is the proudest time in the history of Qatar Gymnastics Federation and I’d like to thank Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee, for making it possible with his ongoing support and long-term vision for Gymnastics. Our genuine commitment and love of this sport as well as its emergence within our nation has been recognised today and endorsed by International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) who granted us this prestigious honour.”

The 48th edition of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships is expected to be staged within the Aspire Zone, Doha,  between October 17 and 27, 2018.


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