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Gymnastics : A new format in Buenos Aires

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YOG pits gymnasts from multiple disciplines and nations together in innovative team competition, before they vie for individual medals

Pulling together gymnasts from across the four disciplines - artistic, rhythmic, trampoline and acrobatic - and from different nations, the team competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games gives a whole new meaning to working in harmony.

Competitors have been drawn into 12 teams of 13 athletes each, comprising of one acrobatic pair, three men’s artistic and three women’s artistic gymnasts, three rhythmic specialists and one female and one male trampoline gymnast.

Those teams have been named after legends of the sport, including Simone Biles (USA), Nadia Comaneci (ROU), Alina Kabaeva (RUS) and Max Whitlock (GBR).

“We had the chance to do something new in gymnastics,” said Terhi Toivanen, sports event manager at the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). “There was nothing to lose. That is why we came up with this format.

“In gymnastics, athletes from different continents and countries might not always be on the same level, but now they all work together as a team.

“Because anything can happen with this format, everyone has the chance of winning a medal in the team competition.”

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Results for the team competition are calculated by adding the rank obtained by each gymnast within their discipline. The winners will be the team with the lowest total.

“After the ‘fun competition’ the gymnasts continue to strive for their own success in the more serious part of the competition,” Toivanen said. “Just like the Olympic Games, we have individual finals for each of the disciplines.”

Providing the first of 17 medal-events across the sport of gymnastics, the team competition will act as the qualification phase for each discipline.

In artistic gymnastics, the competition features the individual all-around, as well as 10 apparatus finals (six for men, four for women). Rhythmic gymnastics, men’s and women’s individual trampoline, and acrobatic gymnastics each have one medal event.

Buenos Aires 2018

The Glasgow 2018 Junior European Championships medallists Giorgia Villa (ITA), Amelie Morgan (GBR), Kseniia Klimenko (RUS) and Sergei Naidin (RUS), together with China’s Yin Dehang and Takeru Kitazono from Japan, are among the leading lights in the artistic gymnastics competition.

In rhythmic, 2018 junior European clubs champion Daria Trubnikova will attempt to make it three in a row for Russia’s rhythmic gymnasts at the Youth Olympic Games. Her compatriots Alexandra Merkulova and Irina Annenkova won at Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014 respectively.

In women’s trampoline, Fan Xinyi will try to become the third consecutive YOG champion for China, following victories by Dong Yu in 2010 and Zhu Xueying in 2014.

Portuguese duo Manuel Candeias and Madalena Cavilhas led the YOG qualifier for mixed pairs and will try to make history of their own as the first YOG champions in acrobatic gymnastics.

The first day of the gymnastics competition gets under way at 14:00 on Sunday (7 October) in the America Pavilion at the Youth Olympic Park.

Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

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