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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.
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.

RG hall during Asian Games 2006Uzbekistan May 30, 2009: The Uzbekistan Rhythmic Gymnastics National Championships hold in the Universal Sport Palace in Tashkent - Uzbekistan during the period 02-7 May 2009.
50 gymnasts from 7 regions of Uzbekistan was present to defend their national title for juniors and seniors events.
The Results was as the following:

Juniors: All-Arround Final:

1- Mamadjanova Aziza
2- Khalikova Sarvina
3- Kalisher Evelina

Seniors: All-Arround Final:

1-Trofimova Ulyana Tashkent-Navoi
2-Djamila Rahmatova Navoi
3-Kamila Tukhtaeva Tashkent

Senoirs: Apparatus Finals:

Rope - First: Trofimova Ulyana
Hoop - First: Rahmatova Djamila
Ball - First: Trofimova Ulyana
Ribbon - First: Rahmatova Djamila
Information from Uzbekistan Gymnastics Federation


Djamila RahmatovaUlyana Trofimova

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.

2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju - KoreaBrussels - May 23rd, 2009 - Today, the second day of the FISU Executive Committee Meeting, was dedicated to the attribution of the Universiades for 2015.
Representatives of the EC have been visiting the bidding cities from April through May and made an extensive evaluation report of all candidates which the chairs of both Evaluation Committees - Leonz Eder (SUI) for Winter and Stefan Bergh (SWE) for Summer - presented before each presentation of the bid cities. During the EC Meeting in Brussels, the bidding candidates were given space in the Hotel Lobby to erect a promotional booth and at the last day of the EC Meeting, each candidate was granted one hour to give a final presentation of their city.
The candidates for the 2015 Winter Universiade were:
Granada, Spain
The candidates for the 2015 Summer Universiade were:
Edmonton, Canada
Gwangju, Korea
Taipei City, Chinese Taipei
The authorities presenting Granada were the Mayor of Granada José Torres, the Rector of the University of Granada, Francisco Gonzalez; representative of the Council of Andalucia, Martin Soler; the Representative of the Government Antonio Martinez; Marta Carranza (CSD), Maria José Rienda (RFEDI); Eduardo Roldan (RFEDI); Frank Gonzalez (FDEH); Francisco Barranco (GR2015); Eduardo Valenzuela (GR2015).
With the legendary Sierra Nevada mountain range as the focus of the Bid Committee's presentation, the Spanish stressed the importance of bringing the Winter Universiade to Granada to develop the ice sports in the south of Spain. ‘With only 18 ice rinks in the whole of Spain there is a lot room of growth for the ice sports in our country, Frank Gonzales, Vice President of the Spanish Ice Sports Federation and member of the IIHF Executive Board said. ‘By building two permanent ice rinks in Granada, ice hockey, skating and curling can start to grow in Andalucia. It will be a great legacy.'
With only one candidate for the WU, the Bidding City was pretty confident to land the 2015 Games. More stress and lots of tension could be observed during the afternoon session as the three candidate cities were reviewed.
After a draw for the presentation order, Gwangju headed out first to the arena. Kim Chong Yang, President of the Korea University Sports Board introduced the highest authorities present for Candidate City Gwangju, i.e. Vice-Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kim Dae-ki; Mayor of Gwangju, Park Kwang-tea; Chair of the Bidding Committee, Chung Eui-hwa; Vice-Mayor of Gwangju, Kim Yoon-suk; President of Asiana Airlines Yoon Young-doo, AUSF Senior Vice-President Chung Tong-gu and KUSB Vice-President You Byung-jin.
The credo of the Gwangju Universiade was ‘Challenge for the Best', the best venues, the best management and the best legacy for the best Universiade. With an impressive legacy program, such as funding for a Sports Event Management System, a FISU-UNESCO program and a Universiade Sponsorship program with Dentsu, the Korean candidate promised to be a strong contender.
The Koreans ended their presentation with a message of the country's President Lee Myung-bak who met the Evaluation Committee members earlier on their Evaluation tour.
Next in line was the candidate of Chinese Taipei, Taipei City. Present on stage during their one-hour presentation were Tai Hsia-Ling, Minister of Sports Affairs; Wu Ching-Ji, Deputy Mayor of Taipei City; Pao Chia-Chu, President of Chang Gung University; Huang Chen-Hsing, Professor of the National Chung-Cheng University; Chen Kun-Ning and Lin Shih-Ling, President and Vice-President of the Chinese Taipei University Sport Federation
The Taipei candidates started with a videotaped message of Mr. Ma, the President of Chinese Taipei who also met the Evaluation Committee members earlier on their Evaluation tour. Dr. Emile Sheng outlined the strongholds of the Taipei bid which was illustrated by a video film. ‘We see sports as a catalyst for the development of our people. It is essential to our growth and it's part of our continuing journey to realize our greatest potential', the Taipei official said.
Last Candidate to present its bid was Canadian city Edmonton. Present for Edmonton were Gary Lunn, Minister of State for Sport; Cindy Ady, Minister of Tourism, Park & Recreation; Indira Samarsekara, President of the University of Alberta; Stephen Mandel, Mayor of Edmonton; President of the Bid Committee Eric P. Newell; Mike Mahon and Al Maurer, both Vice-Presidents of the Bid Committee; Richard White, Chairman CIS.
After presentation of the Canadian Authorities by the Bid Committee President, the floor was given to the Master of Ceremony to lead the FISU EC members through the presentation. The MC was nobody less than former Universiade and Olympic Swimming Champion Alex Baumann who delivered an emotional plea recalling his participation and medal winning performance at the 1983 Universiade in ... Edmonton. However, it was 12-year old rhythmic gymnast Hannah Parry who stole the hearts of everybody present in the room with her stunning performance.
Then, after deliberation of the Board, FISU President George E. Killian (USA) announced the winners of the 2015 Universiades.
The 27th Winter Universiade has been attributed to Granada, Spain.
‘Granada and the Sierra Nevada is a well known snow sports area', Eduardo Valenzuela, Bid Director said. ‘Thanks to the Winter Universiade we will be able to start developing the ice sports as well. This will make the region a complete winter sport hotbed.'
The 28th Summer Universiade has been attributed to Gwangju, Korea.
‘Many civilians walked 2,015 steps every day in support for the bid while more than 150,000 citizens have volunteered to help promote the bid', Mayor Park said. Our citizens will be ecstatic. We will host the best Games.'
‘I'm happy that FISU has the opportunity to go back to Spain for the Winter Universiade, FISU President Killian said. We've been in Spain twice before and we know they will do a good job. With the choice of a Summer Candidate it was more difficult. We had three excellent candidates who spent a lot of time and energy in preparing their bids. Unfortunately, there can be only one winner.'

From: International University Sports Federation

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


China team during Asian Games 2006Taipei, May 24 (CNA) A 35-member gymnastics team from China, including many gold medalists from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, arrived in Taipei Sunday for a performance tour.
It was the most prominent Chinese athletic team ever to visit Taiwan, marking a big step forward in sporting exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, said Tsai Chen-wei, chairman of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee.
China won gold medals in the men's team, men's individual all-around, men's floor, men's pommel horse, men's rings, men's parallel bars, men's horizontal bar, women's team, women's uneven bars, men's trampoline and women's trampoline events at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Liu Baoli, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Olympic Committee who is heading the elite gymnastics team on its Taiwan visit, said he hopes the visit will help inspire more Taiwanese youths to take interest in gymnastics and dedicate themselves to the sport.
During its stay, the outstanding Chinese gymnasts will give three exhibition performances -- Monday evening at National Taiwan University Sports Center in Taipei City; Wednesday evening at Taoyuan County Stadium in Taoyuan City and Friday evening at Miaoli County Stadium in Miaoli City.
(By Taiwan news)


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