UAE to host biggest-ever international Gymnastics Cup

uae to host biggest-ever international gymnastics cup

Belarus' Anastasiia Salos competes in the individual all-around final of the rhythmic gymnastics event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. — AFP file

More than 800 gymnasts from 25 countries across the world are expected to line up as the UAE plays host to the biggest-ever international competition – the Gymnastika Solo Cup – at Al Nasr Club in Dubai from May 17-19.

Leading the line-up of the stars during the competition will be the Belarusian stars Alina Harnasko and Anastasiia Salos along with 2018 European and 2019 junior world champion, Lala Kramarenko.

Harnasko is a bronze all-round medallist at the 2020 Olympics, the all-round silver medallist and ribbon gold medallist at the 2021 World Championships and the all-round silver medallist at the 2020 European Championships along with being the two-time all-round silver medallist at the Grand Prix final in 2018 and 2020.

Salos is the 2020 European Championships all-round bronze medallist, the team bronze medallist at the 2019 World Championships and the team silver medallist at the 2019 European Championships.

Kramarenko is the 2019 junior world champions in ball and clubs and the 2018 European junior champion in ball and ribbon. Besides being a three-time junior national all-round champion (2017-2019), Kramarenko is also the team gold winner at the 2021 European Championships.

These Olympians will be joined by athletes from across the GCC region, the Americas, Russia, Asia and local young gymnasts of Palestinian heritage.

The UAE challenge will be led by the 13-year-old Lamia Tariq Malallah, the only Emirati rhythmic gymnast in the country.

Malak Alfarsi, Lamia's mother, says the rising star is all set for the tough challenge against the elite European gymnasts in the tournament.

"This is a very tough competitions with so many top Russian gymnasts in action. Lamia is working hard, it's going to be a great learning experience for her," said Alfarsi.

Meanwhile, organisers are expecting more than 6,000 spectators to be present at the stadium along with an online viewership of more than 10 million.

For the first time in the UAE, the prize fund for the third edition of this tournament is 10,000 Euros.

In just three years, this competition has become a regular highlight on the competitive calendar of rhythmic gymnasts.

“Dubai, as a global sports centre, invites athletes from all over the world on a unique rhythmic gymnastics journey for the Gymnastika Solo Cup 2024 that will open up new horizons and inspire new feats. We are glad to be a part of this incredible story of sportsmanship and beauty,” said Anastasia Zakrevskaya, CEO of Gymnastika RG Club UAE.

“Thank you all for being here and supporting the Gymnastika Solo Cup 2024. Together, we are creating memories that will last a lifetime as we celebrate extraordinary talents of these young gymnasts,” she added.

“I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to the Dubai Sports Council and the UAE’s General Authority of Sports. I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Saeed Hareb, Ahmad Al Tayeb, Director of the Board of UAE NOC, and Tariq Ali Abdullah Mallalah and Malak Al Farsi, founding members of the Gymnastics Federation in the UAE.

"Their unwavering support and commitment to the development of sports in UAE have played a key role in making the Gymnastika Solo Cup 2024 a reality."

Meanwhile, Ali Omar, Head of Sports Events Department at the Dubai Sports Council, appreciated all the efforts put in to organise a competition of this stature.

“Organising this tournament has been a competition of love and dedication. The Gymnastika RG Club UAE has played a crucial role in making this event possible,” he noted.

“This is your moment. You have trained tirelessly, overcoming countless challenges to be here today. I wish you all the best of luck. May your performances reflect the passion and dedication you have poured into your training. Remember, you are all winners for reaching this stage,” Ali Omar added.

Also present were Alexander Malyugin, CEO, Solo Company, Marina Li, owner of ProDance Shop Company, Gold Sponsor of Gymnastika Solo Cup 2024, Yana Lukonina, World and European champion, competition judge and coach of the Russian national team and Tariq Ali Abdullah Malallah, Founding Member of UAE Gymnastics.

The competition will conclude with a spectacular ‘Show of Stars of World Gymnastics’, where more than 19 different sports clubs will present themselves, including professional artistic gymnastics, roller skating, aerial gymnastics, singers, professional dancers, rhythmic gymnastics Olympic stars, along with guests from 25 countries.

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