SOFIA, March 26 (Xinhua) — The first FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in more than a year opened here at the Arena Armeec Hall on Friday.
As many as 60 individual gymnasts and 11 groups from 35 countries and regions have come to participate in the competition despite the current impracticalities surrounding international travel.
“We are extremely happy that Sofia hosts the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup for the 10th time,” city mayor Yordanka Fandakova said at the opening ceremony of the three-day event.
“After a one-year break in these difficult times, Sofia again welcomes talent, beauty, grace, and elegance,” Fandakova added at the ceremony, which was also attended by FIG president Morinari Watanabe.
Anti-epidemic measures mean that no spectators are allowed in the hall for the duration of the competition.
According to the FIG website, the event is the first of four World Cup competitions scheduled before this summer’s Olympic Games, and serves as an Olympic qualifier for individual gymnasts, along with the World Cups to come in Tashkent of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan’s Baku and Pesaro in Italy. At the end of the series, the top three eligible gymnasts will qualify for the Games, with a maximum of one per country. Enditem