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Senior Qatari officials optimistic 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Champ’ships

KUWAIT CITY, May 9: Senior representatives of the Qatar Olympic Committee and Qatar Gymnastics Federation have travelled to Kuwait ahead of the final bidding stage for the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on behalf of candidate city Doha. With the fate of the 2018 World Championships expected to be announced on Saturday, May 10, 2014, an experienced team of delegates lead by His Excellency, Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee and Mr. Ali Al Hitmi, President of the Qatar Gymnastics Federation, are making final preparations to present to members of the Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

The Qatar delegation expect to face a tough challenge from rival candidate cities in Switzerland and the Netherlands in the final round of bidding but remain hopeful and confident of winning the highly prestigious FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships for the first time in Qatar’s history. Victory would add further to the nation’s proud record as a successful host of major international sporting events and gymnastics track record.

Ahead of this weekend’s final stage the Qatar delegation have already submitted a compelling bid document reflecting Qatar’s sporting heritage, youthful nation, outstanding modern infrastructure and growing emergence in gymnastics.  The bid focuses upon an ‘all in one’ concept which would see candidate city Doha host the championships at the world-class Aspire Zone. Competitors, officials and spectators would take advantage of convenient and comfort of state of the art facilities across every necessary element required to stage a successful event whether competition arena, accommodation or expert medical services for elite athletes courtesy of Aspetar.

Speaking ahead of the final stage, Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee said: “We believe we have convincing bid to bring the highly sought 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships to Doha in 2018 and we look forward to presenting to the International Gymnastics Federation. Qatar’s sporting passion is deep and diverse but our credentials in gymnastics continue to develop year on year having built strong foundations in the sport through our successful Schools Olympic Program with gymnastics a key pillar.”

Established in 2000 the Qatar Gymnastics Federation has quickly made steady progress towards its development goals for the sport, as a result earning the reputation of being an active, respected and ambitious organisation. Already a successful host of seven editions of the FIG World Cup Series — Challenge Cup, Qatar is now aiming to capture the very highest level of competition, complementing its notable achievements as hosts of the Asian Games 2006, Arab Games 2011, Senior Asian Championships 2008 and Gymnasiade 2009.      

Commenting ahead of the bid presentation, Ali Al Hitmi, President of the Qatar Gymnastics Federation added:  “Qatar is well known as a sporting capital with big ambitions and an enviable sporting infrastructure. But gymnastics is a perfect example of an important and highly competitive global sport in which we have invested in every level yet focused first and foremost on the grass roots and nurturing new talent. This dedication to supporting the growth of the sport is an important point we’ll be making during the presentation.

Over the last decade, a relatively short period in sporting terms, Qatar has introduced and supported the development of thousands of gymnasts at schools entry level through the Qatar Schools Olympic Program with a number of emerging talents representing Qatar in a series FIG World Championships. The quality of athlete emerging was recently highlighted by the qualification of a Qatari for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing 2014, namely Rahma Mohammed Al Dulaimi. The outcome of the bid decision for the staging of the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championship by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is expected on the afternoon of the May 10, 2014 following candidate city presentation in Kuwait.

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