By Sports Reporter/Doha
Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) president Ali al-Hitmi was effusive in his praise of the Artistic Individual Apparatus World Cup, saying the Doha meet has become a benchmark for other events in terms of organisation.
As many as 128 male and 60 female gymnasts from 57 countries participated in the 12th leg, which is part of the World Cup series, which concluded on Saturday at the Aspire Dome. The QGF also hosted the World Championships last October, which was hailed as the ‘best-ever’ by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG).
The four-day event was a huge success with Aspire Dome packed for competition and al-Hitimi praised the Organising Committee for successfully hosting the World Cup event. Several top officials of different gymnastics bodies, who were visiting Doha during the event earlier this week, were impressed with the hosting and facilities at Aspire Dome.
“We have reached a stage when FIG and other gymnastics bodies compare organisation of other events with our competitions. Doha has become a benchmark for venues around the world,” al-Hitmi said after the conclusion of World Cup on Saturday.
“We have already set high standards and bringing improvement was a challenge for us but I am glad that we have made it happen. This was not possible without teamwork. All the members of our team worked hard and played their role,” he added.
The QGF chief said the aim was of the hosting of the events in Qatar was to promote gymnastics in the whole region. “The gymnasts of our region are doing well now. The Arab gymnasts are progressing well and top-notch events hosted by the QGF is playing an important role in their development. Gymnastics is becoming a culture in Arab world because of such events,” he said.
Al-Hitmi also expressed satisfaction on the performance of Qatari gymnasts in the event. Ahmed al-Dayani and Ahmed Mosa were joined by 17-year old debutant Saoud Raslen to represent Qatar. The trio failed to qualify for any of the finals but they earned creditable scores during qualifications.
“It was a debut for Raslen and he did well. Our gymnasts have the talent to compete in big events,” said al-Hitmi. “The problem we face is that these gymnasts start well and at one stage they have to chose between the sport and their studies, because of which we have to lose good talent. That’s not a problem for gymnastics only, other federations also face the same challenge. But we will continue to back our young talent,” he added.
Al-Hitmi also thanked the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) for its support, and extended his thanks to Aspire Zone as well for hosting the competition. Tournament Director Abeer al-Bouainain praised the performances of the finalists and adding that they were worthy-winners. On the organisation of the event, she highlighted that the organizing committee did not receive any complaints from the participating delegations. Rather, they were full of praise for it. She also said that the organising committee gained a lot of experience from hosting the event.
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