mercredi 23 septembre 2015

2015 Worlds - MAG team: a pre-selection has been made!

Today, the Belgian Gymnastics Federation announced a first selection for the World Championships (Glasgow, October 23-November 1). Nine gymnasts are pre-selected for these Worlds. Discover the team here!

Credit: Mathias Hikketik

Four gymnasts are on the team for now:
* Jimmy Verbaeys (Blauwput Omnisport)
* Maxime Gentges (Gym Club Malmédy)
* Bram Louwije (Turnkring Vlamertinge)
* Florian Landuyt (Sportac Deinze)

The two remaining spots and the alternate(s) will be named after the friendly meet in Italy (October 3). Five gymnasts are in contention for those last two spots:
* Kristof Schroé ('t Spagaatje Hoogstraten)
* Gilles Gentges (Gym Club Malmédy)
* Jonathan Vrolix (Olympia Houthalen)
* Donna-Donny Truyens (Blauwput Omnisport)
* Siemon Volkaert (GymMax)

19th at last year's World Championships, Belgium sets the bar even higher in 2015, aiming to reach the top 16 and a qualification for the Test Event (April 2016). And with the latest results, especially at the friendly meet against the Netherlands and Italy, anything is possible! Gilles Gentges: "If you look at the result of the last competition, we placed between the Netherlands and Italy. Italy has already competed in three Olympic Games as a team, they are in the top 8. The Netherlands have the same goal as Belgium, they are currently building a strong team, and want to qualify for the Olympics. If you look at the results of Belgium, it is true that there is a progression compared to last year by four points, that's something. Now, we must also take into account that the other teams have certainly progressed too. I think we need every tenth we can get to reach the top 16."

And do not forget that this is the first time the men's team qualified for a pre- Olympic World Championships. The contract is somehow already filled, but the gymnasts want to go even further. Jimmy Verbaeys: "It is a little stressful, but it motivates us. These Championships will be very important for us, for our future, I hope it will be alright. It was a good competition against the Netherlands and Italy. We will try not to think about the individual results and focus on the team. We will do our meet and we'll see where the team ends. The top 16 is the most important."

The Belgian team will have a lot to do in Glasgow, where the boys will begin on still rings, in the same subdivision as China and Japan, big nations of gymnastics, as highlighted by Maxime Gentges: "Worlds are like a reward because we train every day, twice a day, and finally work pays off. This is a special competition, we compete against gymnasts and nations we don't usually meet. We will be in the same group as Kohei Uchimura and Japan. It is like a dream, these are great experiences."

What's next for our boys? They will travel to Italy for a friendly meet (October 3). The gymnasts that are selected to compete at Worlds will then go to Arques (France) for a last training camp before Glasgow.

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