Podium training begins at World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Levallois08/07/2014
Podium training for the 24th World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships got underway Monday at the Gymnase Marcel Cedran in Levallois (FRA), just northwest of Paris.
|British coach Adam McAssey, himself a former World medallist in Acro, instructs his team during podium training at the 2014 World Acrobatic Championships Monday in Levallois.|
More than 200 of the world's top Acrobatic gymnasts are scheduled to compete at the 2014 World Championships, including reigning World champions Konstantin Pilipchuk and Alexei Dudchenko (RUS, Men's Pair) and the Chinese Men's Group of Tang Jian, Wang Lei, Zhou Yi and Wu Yeqiuyin, who tied for gold with a now-retired British Men's Group in 2012.
The Russian Men's Pair and Chinese Group are the only returning World Champions from 2012, meaning that no matter what, new World Champions will be crowned in Women's Pair, Trio and Mixed Pair. Into the vacuum step a host of hopefuls from Britain, Belgium and Russia, traditionally the three strongest countries in Aerobic gymnastics.
Russia, Belgium and Great Britain, all countries with strong tradition in Aerobic gymnastics, will be in the medal hunt in Men's and Women's Pair, Mixed Pair, Women's Trio and Men's Group. The competition is likely to be especially tough in Women's Trio, where Russians Aigul Shaikhutdinova, Ekaterina Stroynova and Ekaterina Loginova have dominated in international competition since 2009. The Russian Trio is absent this year, replaced by two young Russian Trios (Valeriia Belkina, Victoriia Ilicheva and Alena Kholod and Natalia Solodinina, Victoria Sukhareva and Natalia Lavrukhina) both hopeful for medals.
In Mixed Pairs competition, World Games champions Alice Upcott and Dominic Smith (GBR) have the momentum behind them after winning the World Games and European Championships in 2013. Possibly in their way: American Mixed Pair Kylie Boynton and Ryan Ward, who snapped the British winning streak by taking gold at the Maia World Cup in Portugal this spring.
Competition is also expected to be heavy in Women's Pair. Based on results from the 2013 European Championships, reigning European silver medallists Aline de Smet and Nikki Snel (BEL) are the top contenders in the absence of European champions Shanie Redd-Thorne and Danielle Jones. Veterans De Smet and Snel, who have announced plans to retire following the World Championships, are hoping to end their careers on a podium in Levallois.
Competition at the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships begins Thursday with qualifications in all categories. For more on the competition and athletes, please check out the FIG competition microsite here.
|10/07/2014 12/07/2014||24th Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships 2014||LEVALLOIS (FRA)||ACRO|