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Doha set to host Gymnastics World Challenge Cup from March 24


Doha: Aspire Dome will stage the Ninth Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup series from March 24 to 26.

Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF) is organising the three-day event that will see more than 100 gymnasts from 33 countries.

President of QGF and International Gymnastics Federation committee member Ali Ahmad Essa Al Hitmi said, "The world's top gymnasts will compete here. Doha usually hosts the first round of the World Challenge Cup, however, this year Baku, Azerbaijan hosted the opening round."

“With support from the State of Qatar, we have worked hard to earn the confidence of FIG who awarded us the rights to host this event. Our next goal will be the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in 2018,” the president said.

"We, in the QGF aim to bring in the vision of the Qatar Olympic Committee into reality and to make Doha the main sport destination in the Middle East. Hosting such an event will enable us to provide the opportunity for our youth to gain more experience so they can achieve the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030," Al Hitmi said.

Farah Tariq, Mahmoud Al Saadi and Ahmad Al Dayani will represent Qatar in the competition.

The championship features world-class gymnasts in six apparatus events for men - floor exercises, pommel horse, rings, vaults, parallel bars and horizontal bars.

Women's events include vault, uneven bars, balance beam as well as floor exercises.

Argentina's Nicolas Cordoba, the men's world No.1 in High Bar and fellow countryman Federico Molinari, the world No.3 in rings are among the top ranked gymnasts.

Others are China's Zou Kai, winner of three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as two gold and one bronze at London Olympics.

Zou will be making a return to competitive action in Doha after a three-year hiatus. 

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