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China team 2008China won Gold in front of Russia and North Korea and also the All-around
CHINA's women's artistic gymnastics team collected an overall 169.150 points and an extraordinary seven-point edge for the title of the 25th UNIVERSIADE 2009 in Belgrade (Serbia), leaving RUSSIA a far second in 162.150.
The bronze went to PEOPLES REPUBLIC of KOREA in 161.450 points, which boast Olympic vault winner Hong Eu-Jong.
Best in all-around qualification but also after the Saturday's all-around final were the two Chineses JIANG Yuyuan (57,050) and HE Ning (56,600), followed by the two North-koreans KIM Un Hyang (55,800) and HONG Un Jong (55,000) on fourth place. The third placed after the qualification, Rie TANAKA from Japan, ranked fifth at the end, in front of the best European Svetlana KLYUKINA from Russia ...
* Team Event and Women's qualification
Olympians Cheng Fei and Jiang Yuyuan led Chinese gymnasts to an overwhelming victory in women's team at the 25th Universiade on Thursday.
Chinese totally dominated No. 1 hall of Belgrade Fair as they received the highest score on each apparatus.
While Cheng Fei, three time world vault champion in a row, had a below-par performance due to a right knee injury sustained before coming to Belgrade, Jiang Yuyuan shone by topping the qualifications of all-around and beam and qualifying for all apparatus except for vault.
"Actually, we are not in top form as we've been reshaping since the Beijing Olympics," said the 18-year-old JIANG Yuyuan to the Chinese press. "We need to work hard ahead of this year's National Games."
Altogether eight teams and 56 gymnasts from 20 countries take part at these University World Games and 35 gymnasts of them completed at all the four apparatuses.

1. CHINA                              - 169,150
2. RUSSIA                            - 162,150
3. PEOPLES REP. of KOREA     - 161,450

4. JAPAN                       - 161,200
5. UKRAINE                   - 161,150
6. GREAT BRITAIN         - 151,950
7. KOREA                     - 142,100
8. SLOVENIA                 - 134,200

Double European Champion Beth TWEDDLE from Great Britain achieved the highest score of the day on uneven bars (15,700) and was also the best gymnast at floor (14,800) ....

* All-around, Qualification
1. JIANG, Yuyuan  (CHN)              - 58,550
2. HE, Ning  (CHN)                       - 55,700
3. TANAKA, Rie  (JPN)                   - 54,400
4. KLYUKINA, Svetlana  (RUS)        - 54,200
5. PIHAN-KUÖESZA, Marta  (POL)   - 53,850
6. HONG, Un Yong  (PRK)              - 53,800
* All-around Final, Saturday, July 04

China, North Korea and Japan domiated the women's all-around final on the first five ranks. The best European gymnasts followed on 6th to ninth places...

* All-around Final
1. JIANG Yuyuan  CHN        - 57,050
2. HE Ning  CHN                 - 56,600
3.   KIM Un Hyang  PRK      - 55,800

4. HONG Un Jong  PRK         - 55,000
5. TANAKA, Rie  JPN             - 54,550
6. KLYUKINA, Svetlana  RUS  - 53,800
JIANG, Yuyuan  (CHN)

Yussupova MarbellaAfter the events in Moscow, Brno, Thiais, Kiev, Holon and Bourgos this year the
7th Grand-Prix competition 2009 circuit of Rhythmic Gymnastics took place  from May 28 - 31 in Marbella, Spain.
After the predominant all-around victory the Russian Olympic champion Evgenia KANAEVA won also all the four final events of this Grand Prix in Marbella.
The Russian youngster and five-times winner of the Grand Prix in Bourgos some weeks before, Daria KONDAKOVA, ranked on second place in all-around and also with all apparatuses.
After her third all-around postion Aliya YUSSUPOVA (KAZ) won bronze with hoop and ball, Melita STANIOUTA (BLR) with rope and Irina RISENSON with ribbon ...
Ulyana Trofimova take the 8 place (all arround) and 8 place - final ribbon







HKG - courseThe International Judges course took place in Hong Kong (HKG) from May 12 - 16 and was attended by 17 judges (13 HKG, 3 TPE, 1 CHN).
It was conducted by the Vice President of the FIG Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Committee Kym Dowdell (AUS), briefing judges on the new Code of Points for the XII Olympic Cycle.
The course was well received by participants hailing from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, Dowell commented. Its success can be credited to the fantastic pre-course organisation orchestrated by the host federation and extremely thorough preparation on the part of the candidates.

Raj BhavsarIt was the second most precious accomplishment for the US-born gymnast, Raj Bhavsar, as he gifted his life’s greatest achievement-Olympic Bronze medal-to his grandfather living in his hometown in Vadodara.
Raj, a gymnast with the US national team to Beijing Olympics 2008, had his proud moment as he presented his bronze medal to his 85-year-old grandfather Bhanubhai Bhavsar when he visited his hometown in Vadodara.
“After the Olympics, this was my goal, and today I have accomplished it,” said Raj.
For this 28-year-old American of Indian origin, success in Olympics was not easy. Raj had tried his luck to represent his country in the Olympics not once but thrice.
“I had tried in 2001 but couldn’t make it. In 2004 Athens Olympics, I was selected in the team but did not get the opportunity to perform. In 2008 also, I was selected as a reserve, but at the last moment I was confirmed for the event. After a long wait, I got a chance to prove myself in the biggest international arena,” said Raj.

by Express News Service

Seoul - KORThe Artistic Gymnastics International Judges’ Courses for the 12th Olympic Cycle took place in Seoul (KOR) in May.
The course was held from May 2 – 6 /2009 in at Young-In University. 22 participants from Korea and two from Japan attended the course led by Nellie Kim (BLR), President of the FIG Women’s Technical Committee.
Participants showed keen interest, enthusiasm, active participation, and plenty of effort throughout the course. Most either maintained their current judging categories or were able to upgrade. One only judge failed to pass the exam.
FIG Expert Nellie Kim offered special thanks to the Korean Gymnastics Association for the flawless organisation of this course.
Course - SYRThe Syrian Gymnastics Federation recently organised its very first International Judges’ Course for Rhythmic Gymnastics in Damascus (SYR), April 30 – May 5, 2009. But that’s not to say they’re not seasoned organisers; parallel to the RG course the federation hosted judges’ courses for both Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics. All three courses were held at the facilities provided by the Syrian Olympic Committee, where each conference hall boasts a 30 person capacity.
An opening ceremony was held on April 30 at the Syrian Olympic Academy for more than 60 participants from 11 countries. Judges from Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria took part in the courses.
The facilities were well-equipped making it easy for FIG Experts to ensure excellent practical and theoretical presentations.
Newly elected to the FIG Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee, Edouard Iarov (CAN) led the MAG Judges’ Course, at the end of which 21 of a total of 30 course participants took the exam.
With the exception of one judge, those who took the WAG course exam passed with flying colours. The course was led by FIG WTC Vice President Donatella Sacchi (ITA).
Expert and member of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics TC Noha Abou Shabana (EGY) was pleased to announce that all 12 course participants for Rhythmic Gymnastics successfully passed the exams.
Course results were announced by the FIG Experts at a closing ceremony given by the Syrian Gymnastics Federation at the Syrian Academy on May 5. A culminating banquet topped things off in Damascus Old Town.
The FIG Experts expressed their special thanks to the Syrian Gymnastics Federation and Mr M. Youssef Al-Tabbaa, President of the federation and FIG Council Member, for their hospitality and the flawless organisation of all three courses.

Dong Fangxiao and Yang YunThe Chinese Gymnastics Federation and the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee are breathing a guarded sigh of relief. The darlings of the 2008 Beijing Olympics -- its women’s gymnastics team -- have been cleared of charges that some of them were too young to compete in the Beijing Games. This ensures that the gold medals they won on their home turf will not be taken away, which would have forever scarred the legacy of the competitors and China’s Olympics. 
“We are absolutely satisfied that the age of the Chinese team that competed in Beijing was correct,” Andre Gueisbuhler, the  secretary  general of the FIG, told ABC News.
But questions over two of China’s 2000 Sydney gymnasts remain. The International Gymnastics Federation said that they “do not consider the explanations and evidence provided to date in regards to these athletes as satisfactory.”
The two athletes being scrutinized are Dong Fangxiao and Yang Yun. China won the team bronze in Sydney and Yang Yun won the individual bronze on the uneven bars. The FIG says that Dong Fangxiao applied for her credential for the Beijing Olympics with documents suggesting she was 14 years old in 2000, and therefore too young to compete, according to the AP. And Yang Yun was taped and broadcast across China in June 2007 saying she was 14 during the Sydney Olympics. 
Yang Yun told The Associated Press last week that she simply misspoke during the interview, but the FIG is not convinced. 
(NOTE: Yang Yun is engaged to the star of the 2008 Chinese male gymnastics team Yang Wei --  but they were not allowed to apply for their marriage certificate until after Yang Wei finished his 2008 competitions. There are strict rules for Chinese Olympic athletes, including that they can’t marry while they are still in competition for medals.)
The Chinese government, for the four 2008 athletes who have been cleared, provided passports, ID cards and family registers showing they are 16 years old or would turn 16 this year. This was enough for the FIG and the International Olympic Committee, despite many online records and state-media reports that showed several of the gymnasts were too young. Chinese gymnastics officials and state media say these records were typos.
It is unclear which particular documents are under question in the case of the two 2000 gymnasts.      
Critics say, in a country like China, where documents can be forged and transparency is not necessarily its forte, it can be almost impossible to tell the real from the fake. 
Li Jie, a Chinese freelance journalist in Beijing, said this raises a red flag. “This case shows the Chinese government has a crisis of confidence. We should learn from it. The Chinese government should make information more public and transparent,” she told ABC News. 
ABC News sports analyst Christine Brennan said that the FIG’s decision was "expected, but unfortunate. Reporters and others found quite a bit of evidence that the Chinese were cheating by using under-age gymnasts. I'm not sure how the IOC and FIG didn't find the same evidence, although their excuse might be that some of it seemed to be disappearing before their eyes from the internet. That sounds like something right out of a spy flick and should have raised extra suspicions.”
She added, "Even with this decision, the age controversy will forever taint China's gymnastics performance at the 2008 Olympics, and it should."
But the Chinese are standing their ground. The gymnastics federation here and the fans en masse agree, and not surprisingly so, that their athletes are old enough. 
It was more than 10 years ago when the IOC raised its participation age for gymnasts to 16.  But many think age shouldn’t matter. 
Sun Jianxia, a student at Beijing University, told ABC News, “I think athletes’ age is not the most important thing. We should focus more on their scores and their achievements. These gymnasts already did a great job at their age. We should not put more pressure on them.” 
But rules are rules. These, in particular, were put into place so as not to put young children under the duress of the strict training regimens that these athletes must endure.  And all countries are supposed to follow the rules. Experts say that younger gymnasts are more agile, more flexible and less fearless, which can give them an advantage. 
If it turns out that the 2000 Sydney Olympic athletes were indeed underage and provided fake documents to the FIG and the IOC, then what next? The FIG says it will take some time for them to complete their investigation. 
If they conclude that the gymnasts were underage, they would most likely be stripped of their medals, if IOC precedent is taken into account. And the larger question of document forging will be raised once again. But in the meantime, the Chinese will no doubt rejoice in the fact that their 2008 Olympic women’s gymnastics team emerged both victorious and unscathed.  
Article by ABC News Producer, Beijing



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