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Doha: Four Chinese women artistic gymnasts recently completed a 20-day training programme at Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute in West Des Moines, Iowa, the United States.
Promising gymnast Liu Tingting, who won the individual all-around along with team, balance beam titles at this year’s Asian Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, Chen Yile, Guan Chenchen and Li Qi went through the paces under the institute’s head coach Qiao Liang from December 11.
Devastated by their unimpressive show at the Rio Games last year, where China claimed only two medals — bronze for its men’s and women’s teams — the Chinese Gymnastics Federation (CGF) has drawn up an extensive programme as a part of their preparation for the next year’s Asian Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It was a long fall from the 2008 Beijing Games where they claimed both the men’s and women’s team titles.
China had won seven out of eight men’s golds in Beijing, but finished second behind the United States in London four years later.
However, Japan ended their Asian rivals’ eight-year reign as Olympic men’s team champions at Rio as they returned home with a bronze.
But there has been a drastic change in the federation’s attitude which was reflected in their gymnasts’ performances at the 47th FIG Artistic World Championships in Montreal, Canada, in October where they won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals to claim the overall title.
“The future is bright. Our target will be to win medals in Tokyo,” CGF President Zhongyi Miao told in a recent interview.
The results are sure to boost their chances at the 2020 Tokyo Games, where they would hope to regain their lost glory.


The Asian Gymnastics Union wishes happiness, good health, sporting success in the New Year, and above all, lots of Gymnastics! 

Doha (Qatar), AGU Office: Olympian Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi felt that the 2018 Asian Games in August would be a more “realistic target” for her protegee to make a return to the sport.

After a long rehab now following a surgery in April, Karmakar joined the national camp this week.

“I will closely monitor her progress, but I do not want to rush things. If she is fit, she will definitely go to Gold Coast event in April. It’s 50-50 for Commonwealth Games now," Nandi told Indian media.

She has not competed since the Rio Games last year, preferring to go under the knife for a knee injury — a Grade 2 tear that became a Grade 3 tear during the Olympics.

The 24-year-old has started training, but gave the Montreal Worlds in October a skip as it didn’t fit into her schedule.

"I will be able to take a call by March 15 next year. We have two more important events lined up next year - the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, and the World Championship in Doha. So I want to go slowly," said Nandi.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Karmakar became the first Indian to win a bronze in vault and was also the first Indian to qualify for the final in Rio. 

But in April this year, she injured the right knee and was advised surgery.

“We’ve to help her regain her fitness. Once I feel she’s back to her normal training, I’ll phase the Produnova back into her routine,” said her coach.

Doha (Qatar), AGU Office: The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) has recognised the new elements of Japan's Hidetaka Miyachi and Aiko Sugihara.
Miyachi's horizontal bar technique, which was first performed at the FIG Artistic World Championships in Montreal, Canada, in October, consists of a stretched double somersault with two turns.
The eponymous move was given the maximum "I" difficulty level.
Sugihara's move, executed on the balance beam and performed at the same event, is a 720 degree turn with the free leg held at a 180 degree split throughout the turns.
The element was given an "E" difficulty level.
The "Sugihara" was first shown off at last year's Toyota International, but was not named until it was performed at the Worlds because FIG recognises new techniques only if they are performed at a major international event.



Doha (Qatar), AGU Office: China’s two-time Olympic champion Deng Linlin said the current training schedules and general knowledge courses are beneficial to young gymnasts.

The 25-year-old had won a team gold at the 2008 Beijing Games and Balance Beam title at the London Games four years later.

The 10-day training camp, which is aimed to scout talent to build a team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, was started on November 29 with over 130 gymnasts.

“GK courses can make young gymnasts think in a more comprehensive way and strengthen their ability to resist pressure. It will make their training more effective,” said the Deng at a training programme at Wuhan in Hubei province.

The camp featured training practice, theory classes and seminar courses, and experts in both gymnastics and psychology were also invited.

“The camp is an excellent way to train talented gymnasts. They can compete with and learn from each other,” said Deng, who now coaches central China’s Anhui province.

“In the past, gymnastics was regarded as a painful, tiring and even boring thing. But now the general administration advocates ‘happy gymnastics’. In the long run, the combination of training and GK will create a self-sustaining cycle of positive development in the sport,” added Deng. 

Doha (Qatar), AGU Office: The sub-junior gymnasts from Singapore Gymnastics’ National Training Centre Programme experienced their maiden Rhythmic Gymnastics international competition at the 9th Machida Friends Cup in Tokyo, Japan, early this month.

Despite the tough field, the youngsters won two gold, one silver and bronze medals.

“I'm extremely happy and proud of their performances. I was very surprised with the results, but we've to try hard in all future competitions,” said coach Sara Ogiso, "The girls were ecstatic with their performances. Some even expressed their eagerness to return to Japan for the 10th edition."

The gymnasts were grateful for the opportunity to compete and attributed part of their success to a one-week training camp, which was hosted by the Tokyo Women’s College of Physical Education before the competition.


 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.


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