The world’s top gymnasts will arrive in Glasgow next month to take part in the first ever World Cup event to be held in the city.
Glasgow has been named as one of only four host cities for the newly revamped Federation of International Gymnastics World Cup All Around events in 2011 and 2012. The city beat off tough competition from around the world to join Stuttgart (Germany), Jacksonville (USA) and Tokyo (Japan) in staging the prestigious events over the next two years.
A new spectator-focused format will see the world’s top gymnasts battle it out over two sessions: the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics All Round Final and the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics All Round Final at the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena on Saturday 16 April. Competition is limited to the world’s top gymnasts and includes Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European champions and medal winners.
Britain’s top male gymnast, Daniel Purvis, who won bronze medals at the 2010 World and European Championships, will lead the home charge. Daniel will be joined in the Men’s Artistic All Around Final by Sam Hunter. The dynamic pair were crowned joint 2010 British Champions. They will do battle with six others including Germany’s Philipp Boy, World All Around silver medallist.
Daniel said: “I’m tremendously excited and proud to be competing at this year's prestigious Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics event. The new format of the competition means the very best gymnasts in the world will be at the Kelvin Hall and I'm sure the crowd will be amazed by the performances.
"After my successes last year, especially coming fifth in the World Championship All-Around, I go into Glasgow feeling very confident and hope the home crowd will inspire me to produce my best. The pressure is on when competing on all six pieces of apparatus, so the support can be a key factor in giving a gymnast that extra edge. Having competed in Glasgow before I know that will be the case again this year.”
In the Women Women’s Artistic Gymnastics All Round Final, Hannah Wheelan, who was a member of the 2008 British Olympic team and the 2010 British Champion, will take on the top names in women’s gymnastics. They include 2010 World Champion on the Floor and Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Lauren Mitchell of Australia. Jiang Yuyuan, who was a member of the Chinese gold medal winning team at the 2008 Olympics, is also competing.
Hannah said: "I'm really looking forward to competing at Glasgow and going back there again for what will be my third time. It is a really good arena and crowd, and is a bigger event this year where only the top gymnasts in the world will be competing so it will be a great competition."
Councillor Archie Graham, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said: “This will be one of the biggest sporting events to ever be held in the city and will see the world’s top male and female gymnasts go head to head at the Kelvin Hall.
“Many of those competing at the Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics event will also be going for gold at the London 2012 Olympics – confirming Glasgow’s position as one of the world’s leading sporting cities. This reputation will of course be further enhanced when we host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.”
Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor George Redmond, said: “The Kelvin Hall has witnessed some genuinely world-class sporting battles over the years but new Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics events will take that to a new level.
“With its exciting new format, I am sure the World Cup will be a massive success, and we are already looking forward to giving the gymnasts and their coaches a warm Glasgow welcome.”
Glasgow Life is staging the events on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding from EventScotland and UK Sport’s World Class Events programme supported by the National Lottery. Tickets for the Saturday 16 April 2011 competition at the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena start at just £3 for children, £10 for adults and £25 for families (2 adults and 3 children) and are available from www.glasgowworldcup.com
or by telephoning 0141 353 8000.
• Athletes competing in the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics All Round Final are Philipp Boy (Germany), Jonathan Horton (USA), Mykola Kuksenov (Ukraine), Daniel Purvis (GBR), Bo Lu (China), Cyril Tommasone (France), Samuel Hunter (GBR) and Alexander Shatilov (Israel).
• Athletes competing in thr the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics All Round Final are Yuyuan Jiang (China), Qiushuang Huang (China), Lauren Mitchell (Australia), Ariella Kaeslin (Switzerland), Jesssica Lopez (Venezuela), Hannah Whelan (GBR), Oana Raluca Haidu (Romania) and Elisabeth Seitz.