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 AGU Media, DOHA (QAT): Iran’s Saeedreza Keikha, who made history for his country when his first unique element on Pommel Horse was named “The Keikha” in his honour, finished second at the recently-held Toyota International Gymnastics in Japan. 

Keikha, the only Iranian in the prestigious competition, won a silver with 14.275 points.

The 29-year-old performed a variation, now known as “Keikha 2, on the traditional flair on Pommel Horse at Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May.

In the same division, Japan’s 19-year-old Takaaki Sugino won the gold (14.850) followed by 2013 world champion Kohei Kameyama (14.025).

Keikha had raised the country’s profile in the sport when he won a bronze at the Baku FIG World Challenge Cup in February followed by another third-place finish at the Asian Artistic Championships in Bangkok, Thailand in May.

AGU Media, DOHA (QAT): Coaches from Afghanistan, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand attended a two-day FIG “Join the Gymnastics for All" (GfA) course in Negombo, Sri Lanka, last week.
A total of 49 coaches were present at the programme, which was conducted by GfA Committee President Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist and member Tatsuo Araki.
The participants learned more about what the sport can offer and contribute for all ages. This was done in practical sessions featuring enjoyable exercises and a lot of laughs.
The theoretical session offered information about Gfa history and its position within the international federation. It also offered insight into the national federations activities like the World Gymnaestrada, along with the World Gym for Life Challenge, the yearly Colloquium, different courses, symposia and workshops.
Araki provided specific information about Gymnastics for All within the Asian Gymnastics Union (AGU).
Meanwhile, the The Asian Gym for Life Challenge will be held in June next year in Malaysia.
The AGU member associations will receive more details about the event.
 
The committee extended its sincere gratitude to the National Gymnastics Association of Sri Lanka and President Aruna Prasad, who hosted the course together with the Local Organising Committee under Milroy Jayamanne, IP Pathma and Indika Thushara.
 
AGU Media, DOHA (QAT): Nine-time rhythmic gymnastics world champion Bianka Panova exuded confidence that a Singaporean rhythmic gymnast at the 2024 Olympic Games is not all that impossible given the presence of talent at her academy in the country.
The Bulgarian co-founded the Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy in 2015 with business partner and academy director Daniela Michaely.
“Rhythmic gymnastics is a relatively young sport in Singapore. It has only been around for about seven years, and it's already one of the sports being considered for Direct School Admission. I’, amazed to see its progress over the past seven years,” Panova told The Straits Times.
The 48-year-old has also coached Italy’s national junior team and Belgium.
“Singapore has so much talent. The future of the sport is very positive, but there needs to be more support in order to hone the potential of local gymnasts,” added Panova, who became the first rhythmic gymnast to make a clean sweep of all five gold medals at a World Championships in 1987.
About 100 students aged between four and 14 are now enrolled in her academy.
“There’re so many talented girls and I see no difference between them and Bulgarian gymnasts. They’ve the potential and we needed to work within the system to build them up with more competitions and exposure,” she said. “The national sports association has extended their support to promote the sport. I think the focus on academic has expanded to sporting achievements as well.”
AGU Media, DOHA (QAT): After missing last month’s FIG Artistic World Championships in Montreal, Canada, due to injury, continent’s legendary gymnast Kohei Uchimura said he hopes to return to competition in December.
Nicknamed ‘King Kohei’, the Japanese’s bid for a seventh straight individual all-around title at the Worlds came to a sad end after he injured left ankle during a vault landing in a qualifying session.
“I’m planning to compete at the moment, but I don’t want to push myself too hard,” Uchimura said of the Toyota International Gymnastics Competition in December.
The Japanese megastar won the last six world all-around titles and the last two Olympic all-around titles, the longest streak of dominance in gymnastics history
The 28-year-old, who was diagnosed with torn ligaments in his left ankle, said he is recovering after he took part in a clinic held in Fukuoka Prefecture.
“But the landing is the most difficult part,” said two-time Olympic all-around gold medalist, who has been practicing on the pommel horse, rings and parallel bars while undergoing rehabilitation.
He also demonstrated a handstand, but apologised that it was all he could show the participants.
 
AGU Media, DOHA (QAT): Rio bronze medalist Gao Lei retained men’s trampoline title as China won seven of the 14 gold medals at the 32nd Trampoline World Championships which ended in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Sunday.
The Chinese team also won a silver and bronze medal.
Russia ranked second with three gold, four silver and two bronze medals followed by Belarus with two gold, one silver and bronze.
Gao’s time of flight was his strongest asset as a 0.275point margin helped him beat Russia’s 2015 bronze medallist Dmitrii Ushakov.
Compatriot and triple Olympic medalist Dong Dong finished third, which was his 17th medal.
Japan’s Ayano Kishi came second in the women’s individual trampoline event while Belarusian Tatsiana Piatrenia won the gold and Canadian Sophiane Methot finished third.
Zhang Kuo, who won a bronze in the last edition, was the other winner in men’s tumbling on the competition’s last day.
 
AGU Media, DOHA (QAT): Japan’s Hitomi Hatakeda won the 34th Arthur Gander Memorial which was recently held early this month in Morges, Switzerland.
The Arthur Gander Memorial, which alternates each year between the cities of Morges and Chiasso, Switzerland, attracted a strong field after the Montreal World Championships.
The competition format allowed gymnasts to compete an abbreviated all-around, with the women doing any three events and the men any four.
The annual competition, first held in 1984, stands in the name of the former FIG President Arthur Gander.
Hatakeda, daughter of 1992 Olympian Yoshiaki Hatakeda, skipped beam en route to 40.100 for first place in the women’s competition. French Olympian Marine Boyer equalled her 40.100, but was bumped to second via tie-break based on higher Execution scores.
Hitomi’s younger sister, Chiaki, is one of Japan’s top junior hopes for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Hitomi along with new world floor exercise champion Mai Murakami has been picked to compete at the Toyota International (December 9-10).
 
AGU Media, DOHA (QAT): Zhong Xingping and Zhu Xueying helped China retain the synchro title at the Trampoline World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Japan’s Hikaru Mori and Takagi Yumi took silver ahead of Belarusian pair Tatsiana Piatrenia and Maryia Makharynskaya.
But the biggest applause was reserved for Jia Fangfang, who reclaimed her tumbling title by piping former queen of the discipline Anna Korobeinikova by a mere 0.2 points
Three months after her second success at The World Games, Jia won her second gold after the team success in the competition.
With her four individual titles, Jia has now equalled Korobeinikova’s record. However, she is still far off the 34-year-old Russian’s overall tally of 15 world medals. Great Britain’s Lucie Colebeck completed the podium.
 
 

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