Gymnastics: Singapore will host the Asian Artistic C’ships in June

Singapore will welcome some of the world’s best gymnasts when it hosts the 10th Asian Artistic Gymnastic Championships for the first time in 2023. PHOTO: SINGAPORE GYMNASTICS

SINGAPORE – Singapore will welcome some of the world’s best gymnasts when it hosts the 10th Asian Artistic Gymnastic Championships for the first time in 2023.

The June 10-18 competition will be at the OCBC Arena.

The line-up will likely include China’s two-time uneven bars world champion Wei Xiaoyuan and balance beam world title-holder Hazuki Watanabe of Japan.

The event will serve as qualification for the world championships in Belgium from Sept 30-Oct 8.

From the world championships, nine teams will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

Singapore Gymnastics president Patrick Liew said hosting the marquee competition “is a crucial step towards our goal of establishing Singapore as a premier hub for gymnastics”.

“We anticipate a thrilling event featuring top-level performances, and we encourage not only our gymnastics community but all sports enthusiasts to come out and experience it.”

Sport Singapore’s chief of industry development, technology and innovation Roy Teo said organising the championships is aligned with the nation’s goals to bring international sporting events to the community. 

“We hope that an event of this scale will help our Team Singapore gymnasts gain valuable competition experience, uplift the profile of the sport locally and inspire more young talents to pursue the sport at the elite level,” he noted.

Women’s team captain Nadine Joy Nathan, 23, hopes the event will give young Singaporean gymnasts an opportunity to watch international competitions and inspire them to continue pursuing the sport.

“Recalling my experience competing in Singapore at the 2015 SEA Games, I am also looking forward to (reliving) the experience of competing alongside the cheers of a local crowd,” added Nathan, who won an individual all-around bronze at the 2015 Games.

At the 2022 Asian championships in Doha, China topped the medal table with eight golds, three silvers and five bronzes.

Singapore’s Robin Sim and Zac Liew were 22nd and 24th in the individual all-around respectively.

Liew, 21, is excited about the prospect of competing on home soil and thinks the high standards of international athletes will inspire the Singapore team.

The first-year university student said: “Competing against some of the best gymnasts in the world would be a valuable learning experience that would allow me to test my skills and techniques at the highest level.”

He is also training hard for the upcoming SEA Games in May as the men’s team look to better their third-placing at the 2022 Games, he added.

The full list of participating countries for the Asian championships will be finalised on April 6 and Singapore’s line-up will be decided later that month.

Tickets will go on sale in April.

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