21 May, 2017

Liu powers China to sweep first 2 golds in 7th Asian Seniors ART Championships

AGU Office: BANGKOK (THA) May 19, 2017: Liu Tingting came through with a masterful performance on Thursday, powering China to a dominating sweep of the women’s team and individual all-around titles to kick off action in the 7th Asian Seniors Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Nimibutr Gymnasium here.
In a class of her own, the impish-looking Liu ruled three out of the four events, highlighted by an outstanding 15.30 points on the balance beam plus first-place finishes in the uneven bars (14.35) and floor exercise (13.50) events en route to a gold-medal clinching score of 56.80 points. 
Counting the tally of teammates Luo Huan, who garnered the silver medal with 55.70 points, and Liu Jinriu (48.750), the Chinese easily won the team all-around gold with a runaway score of 165.20 points in the tournament organized and sanctioned by the Asian Gymnastics Union. 
Bannered by individual bronze medalist Kim Sujong (53.15), North Korea finished a far second with 156.75 points, relegating Japan to the third place (155.10) in the competition marked by the AGU awarding cash prizes for the first time in the continental artistic gymnastics showcase.
China likewise took home the team prize of $1,000 while North Korea and Japan earned $700 and $500, respectively.
On the other hand, Liu pocketed $500 as the individual all-around  queen, Luo got $350, and Kim $200 for their efforts.
Qatar’s Ali Ahmad Al-Hitmi, International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and AGU Executive Committee Member,   awarded the team winners while FIG WAG Technical Committee President Donatella Sacchi of Italy gave away the individual medals and prizes.
“I am very happy because this is my first time in the Asian Seniors,” said Liu through an interpreter and whose golden maiden appearance here was somewhat of a consolation prize for missing last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics due to a hand injury.
The winner of a pair of golds each in the first and second legs  of the FIG World Cup series  held in Melbourne, Australia and Doha, Qatar, respectively, the pixie from Guangzhou City revealed she did not feel threatened by  Luo in her bid for gold.
“All of us teammates actually encourage one another and we don’t feel pressured,” Liu replied, beaming.
The battle for Asian gymnastics supremacy escalates as the men take over the floor on Friday with the team and individual all-around finals.
Expected to witness the hostilities at ringside is AGU President Abdulrahman Al-Shathri of Qatar, who was scheduled to arrive late Wednesday night on a flight from the Qatari capital of Doha. 
TEAM MEDALISTS:  Winners in the  women’s team all-around event in the 7th Asian Seniors Artistics Gymnastics Championships, led by gold medalist China (center), pose with their medals.  Silver medalist DPR Korea is on the left while bronze medalist Japan is on the right. With them is Qatar’s Ali Ahmad Al-Hitmi, International Gymnastics Federation and Asian Gymnastics Union Executive Committee Member.
INDIVIDUAL WINNERS:  Women’s individual all-around champion Liu Tingting of China (center)  and the other medalists pose together with FIG WAG Technical Committee President Donatella Sacchi of Italy.  Flanking Liu are teammate and silver medalist Lu Hoan (left) and bronze medalist Kim Sujong of DPR Korea (right).

SUPERB FORM: Women’s individual all-around gold medalist Liu Tingting of China shows superb form on the balance beam.

FULL CONCENTRATION: China’s Liu Tingting, the women’s individual all-around champion, displays full concenteration on the uneven bars.

TWIRLING IN THE AIR:  Women’s individual all-around silver medalist Lu Hoan twirls in the air in the floor exercise event .

PERFECT BALANCE: China’s Lu Hoan, the women’s individual all-around silver medalist, displays picture-perfect form on the balance beam.

DIFFICULT SOMERSAULT: DPR Korea’s Kim Sujong, the women’s individual all-around bronze medalist, does a difficult somersault on the balance beam. 

SOARING: Women’s individual all-around bronze medalist Kim Sujong soar through the air on the balance beam.