TODAY.AZ / Sports

Olympic qualifications system for gymnastics on brink of redesign

30 April 2014 [17:55] - TODAY.AZ
The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) will redesign its Olympic qualifications system, FIG Press Operations Officer Philippe Silacci said.

Silacci made the remarks at the 77th Congress of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in Baku on April 29.

He said the gymnastics was first included into the program of summer Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.

"From its first participation in 1896 to Rio de Janeiro in 2016, this promotion highlights 120 years of growth for the sport of gymnastics and its disciplines," Silacci said.

He went on to add that after the London 2012 Olympic Games, the gymnastics was designated one of the top three best sports on the Olympic program, together with athletics and swimming.

Silacci also said that with the development of gymnastics, there was a need to make several changes.

"To grow means to adapt its structures to new expectations and new requirements in order to face the future of the sport and of the Olympic movement. In other words, gymnastics must be proactive. This is exactly what the FIG Council will decide next week on May 9, at the occasion of its Council in Kuwait," Silacci said.

"The FIG will dramatically redesign its calendar and thereby its Olympic qualifications system," he stressed.

Silacci went on to say that the new rules will not affect the tournaments within the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, and will come into effect at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"The objective is Tokyo 2020. Indeed, such decisions will affect all the rules that govern artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline gymnastics: Codes of Points and Technical Regulations," he said.

Silacci also stressed that time will be necessary to adjust and to test all the new procedures.

"After Athens, the FIG immediately took action and decided to open the difficulty score, to allow the gymnasts/coaches to make an inquiry against this score and to develop a video system, named IRCOS, to help the judges in their difficult tasks," FIG press operations officer said adding that FIG action and these decisions were warmly welcomed by all the community.

"However, in Beijing four years later, other challenges occurred. The age of the gymnasts and the qualification system of the Olympic Games," he added. "Again, the FIG reacted with an important decision: the introduction of licenses for gymnasts (2009) and of a second qualification round (test event)."

The FIG press operations officer also stressed that after London 2012 Olympic Games, the FIG President Bruno Grandi invited the FIG authorities to review all the process of the Olympic qualifications and to harmonize the gymnastics long term calendar.

Regarding the new rules to be adopted next year, Silacci said there will be enough time to test, improve and implement them.

"In Rio, as I mentioned before, the gymnastics competitions will follow the same procedure as in London, with two qualification competitions," he underscored. "Tokyo 2020 will be the final destination of this long and sensitive project that is necessary for more justice towards the athletes, the public and the media."

Azerbaijani capital of Baku will host Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships on June 13-15. Some 33 countries have applied to participate in the championship. A total of 258 gymnasts will compete in Baku for nine sets of medals.


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