World Championships preparations is in full swing, says Al Hitmi


Doha: The Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi exuded confidence the 48th FIG Artistic World Championships will be one of the best in the competition’s history.

The FIG event will be held at the Aspire Dome in October next year.

“The preparations is in full swing. We hope to deliver a great championships in terms of organisation and hospitality,” said Al Hitmi after his return from the Worlds in Montreal, Canada.

The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) second vice-president Dr Thani Al Kuwari had received the next edition’s FIG flag its President Morinare Watanabe on the competition's last day in Montreal last Sunday.

“Our delegation made a presentation that included Doha’s strong position as a top international sports destination,” added Al Hitmi, who is also one of the FIG Ex-Co members.

The new logo was unveiled during the presentation to the international gymnastics family, who were present during the high-profile event, while the tournament website will be launched soon.

In a nutshell, the countdown for the next edition has already started, with the Qatari capital will now get ready to host yet another top international sports competition.

“Doha is now ready to organise the next edition. The various tournament committees are doing their best. We’ve now entered the final stages of our preparation to host the biggest gymnastics competition for the first time in the region,” said QGF Secretary Mohammed Al Jaber. “We thank the QOC President HE Shaikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani for his support and various other stakeholders who are associated with the preparations.”

Qatar team to leave for Montreal Worlds tomorrow

Doha: Pommel horse expert Ahmed Al Dayani and Ahmed Nabil Mousa will represent Qatar at the 47th FIG World Championships, which starts in Montreal, Canada, on October 2.

The delegation will leave tomorrow for the seven-day competition, which will feature some of the world’s top gymnasts including Olympic champions.

The six-member team, headed by Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) Board Member Mohammed Abdullah Al Meragui, also has coach Marius Daniel, physiotherapist Essam Yousif Abu Odeh and judge Mahmoud Al Saadi.

Al Dayani, who idolises Japan’s 2004 Olympic champion Hiroyuki Tomita, won a bronze in men’s pommel horse event at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May.

“Both our gymnasts are well prepared thanks to the intensive training provided by the QGF. It’ll be a learning experience for them as they’ll be up against the world’s best in the competition,” said Al Maraghi.

Doha will host the FIG World Championships in October next year, and Al Dayani said the experience at the Montreal Worlds will help him to prepare well for the next year’s edition.

“It’ll be a good exposure for us. I’m sure the Montreal Worlds will give us the experience and boost our confidence,” said Al Dayani.

QGF officials take a tour of the Montreal Olympic stadium

 Montreal (Canada): The Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) warmed up to host the next edition of the FIG Artistic World Championships after their delegates were taken on an extensive tour of the Olympic Stadium by the FIG and Local Organising Committee officials here on Friday.

The QGF members including its President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi were shown the facilities at the ongoing 47th FIG Artistic World Championships, which will get over on Sunday. 

“The Aspire Dome boasts of world class facilities. We just need to add some more seats to accommodate the fans,” said Al Hitmi.

From the marketing aspect, the QGF has done its bit to promote the event during the championships here by putting up a stall on the first floor of the impeccable stadium.

The competition logo looks appealing while the event website will be launched soon.

Doha has been hosting the FIG Artistic World Cup series for the last 10 years now, and that will give them a lot of confidence and experience on hosting a mega event, which incidentally will be the first in the region.

With the support of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and other stakeholders, Doha promises to produce one of the best World Championships next year.

Gymnastics is one of the most active sports in Qatar, with the federation organises several school and club-level

programmes besides hosting a couple of important FIG courses and programmes for the coaches.

The sport is on the rise in the country with several young Qataris are attracted to it, and next year’s Worlds in Doha will be an apt promotion.  


Top gymnasts, coaches praise Qatar Gymnastics Federation

Doha: Thanks to its exceptional organisation, the Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) has received kudos from the world’s top gymnasts to FIG officials.

Doha will become the first city in the region to host the Artistic World Championships in October, 2018. The event is expected to attract more than 500 competitors.

“Every year I visit Doha, it looks new. It’s a fabulous city. The venue is just too good,” Armenia’s Artur Tovmasyan had said in an interview during his last visit in March.

“I want to come back again and also hope to compete at next year’s Artistic World Championships. I find the organisation truly world-class,” said Romania’s Catalina Ponor.

The 2018 World Championships is going to be something special for the QGF, who had won praises in the past for their excellent arrangement and hospitality.

“It’s a big honour for Qatar to organise such an important event. The annual World Cup has helped us learn a lot in terms of organising a top tournament ever since we hosted it since 2008,” said QGF President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi.

“The next year’s edition in March will be a complete dress rehearsal before the mega event in October,” he added.

Australian women’s artistic team head coach Peggy Liddick, who conducted a FIG Coaches Clinic here, said, “Qatar is an important FIG member and is very serious in promoting the sport in the region. QGF’s mission to develop young athletes shows Qatar’s commitment.”


Doha gets ready to host the 2018 FIG Artistic World Championships

 Doha: From former international gymnastics federation (FIG) President Bruno Grandi to his successor Morinari Watanabe, everybody heaped praises on the Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) for its positive attitude.


While Doha gets ready to host the 2018 FIG Artistic World Championships next year, we caught up with QGF President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi, who is also one of the seven FIG Executive Committee members, to share his views with the readers.


He spoke to about a variety of topics including the QGF’s development programmes and 2018 Worlds.


How’ll the 2018 Artistic World Championships help popularise the sport in Qatar?

It’ll be a good opportunity to develop the sport not only in the country, but also in the region.

A World Championships attract youngsters, and I’m confident that more parents will be encouraged to send their kids to take up gymnastics. We’ve observed how the annual FIG Artistic World Cup Series has encouraged the parents to register their children at our training centres.


Tell us something about next year’s FIG World Championships in Doha.

We’re quite excited, but at the same time want to produce another successful event. It’ll be held at the Aspire Dome from October 25to November 3. The competition will also boost sports tourism and showcase Qatar’s excellent organisational qualities. The preparations have begun, but it will become full swing after we get back from the Montreal Worlds. We recently had a LOC meeting where we had discussed the future plan of action.


How’s the QGF’s development programmes shaping up?

We’re here to promote gymnastics, and working really hard to make it mandatory at all schools. We’ve a good bunch of young boys and girls, who’ve done well at the GCC and Arab Championships. But our goal is to win medal at top international competitions.


Can Qatar produce a world-class gymnast?

Some of the juniors are quite talented, but we need the support of QOC and parents. Without them, it’s impossible. If we’ve a special education programme in the schools, Qatar can produce lot of good gymnasts.


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