The World Artistic Gymnastics Championships kicked off in Antwerp today, Monday, where Team Ireland join the cream of international gymnastics on the biggest stage.
The six-strong Irish squad have been working hard in the build-up to the competition, with both WAG (Salto) and MAG (Lowestoft) gymnasts being put through their paces at pre-camps over the last number of weeks, before moving on to Belgium’s National Training Centre in Gent to step up preparations. The gymnasts arrived in Antwerp on Wednesday to begin their pre-competition training.
In the WAG competition, Ireland are represented by Nicole Mawhinney, Emma Lunn and India McPeak. On the MAG side representing Ireland are Anthony O’Donnell, Chris O’Connor and Andrew Smith.
Podium training began on Friday where first up for Ireland was Anthony O’Donnell, who was added to the Irish squad following the unfortunate injury to Luke Carson, with Chris O’Connor on in the evening. Andrew Smith will took to the podium on Saturday morning before the WAG podium training commenced on Saturday evening.
The competition got underway with MAG this morning where Anthony O’Dnnell was be first to compete for Ireland on High Bar. He was followed by Chris O’Connor who competed in subdivision 2 and Andrew Smith who will go in subdivision 4 on Tuesday morning.
The WAG competition begins on Tuesday where India McPeak will compete in subsection 1, while on Wednesday Emma Lunn will compete in subsection 3 and Nicole Mawhinney in subsection 4.
Supporting the gymnasts at the competition are: Head of Delegation, Sally Filmer; Head Coach MAG Barry Winch; MAG Coach Simon Gale; Head Coach WAG Sun Jei and WAG Coach Stanislav Sevostyanov. Medical support will be provided by Fiona Murphy.
Also representing Ireland at the championships are judges Mary Murray and Dennis O’Donoghue, while Mairead Kavanagh travels as an FIG Invite Judge.
Following the Action
The official World Championship website can be found here: http://www.antwerpgymnastics2013.com
Live scoring for the competition is availabe here: http://www.fig-docs.com/microsites/13Antwerp/qual/livetabqualmag.php
You can also download the competition live-scoring desktop application here: http://www.sportcentric.com/vsite/vcontent/content/news/0,10869,5261-206663-223886-49508-318786-news-item,00.html
You can also follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WChAntwerp
and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WChAntwerp
The BBC will also broadcasting from Antwerp*:
Thursday 3rd October
BBC Online 19.00-22.00 BST – Live men`s all-around
Friday 4th October
BBC Two 13.00-15.00 BST – Highlights of the Men`s all-around
BBC Three 19.00-21.00 BST Live women`s all-around
Saturday 5th October
Red Button/Online 13.30-14.25 – Live men`s floor and women`s vault
BBC One 14.30-16.30 BST – Live men`s pommel/uneven bars and rings + h`lights floor/vault
Sunday 6th October
BBC Two 13.30-16.30 BST – Live apparatus finals.
*Times subject to change