vendredi 29 janvier 2016

The Road To Rio continues for our National Teams!

Yesterday, the GymFed invited the press to present the women's gymnasts in contention for a spot in the Olympic team. But that's not all : we now have more infos about the competitions our Men's and Women's teams will take part in as a preparation for the Test Event. On this occasion, GymFed also launched its new campaign to promote the Olympic journey :  GoBelgym.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
It's in its training facilities in Ghent that the Women's national team received the journalists for the press conference. One thing that struck me right away was the good atmosphere between the gymnasts while they were posing for a photo shoot. The good mood continued as Gaelle Mys (OTV Nazareth), Laura Waem (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas) and Julie Croket (GymMax), the "veterans" of the team, presented their teammates : Jelle Beullens (De Gympies Keerbergen), Axelle Klinckaert (GymMax), Senna Deriks (Gymgroep AS), Cindy Vandenhole (Vaste Vuist Lauwe), Julie Meyers (TK Sta Paraat - P. H. H. Hasselt vzw), Rune Hermans (Gym Haacht) and Nina Derwael (TK Sta Paraat - P. H. H. Hasselt vzw).

Qualified for the Olympic Test Event which will take place in Rio in April, the Belgians are now focusing on their main goal: a team qualifications for the Olympic Games, which would be a first for Belgium. For many, Belgium one of the favorites to win the Test Event, but the competition will be tough: Romania, Germany, France and Brazil are our main rivals, but let's not forget Australia, South Korea and Switzerland. 

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
During the press conference, the calendar of our gymnasts has been revealed (see below). But that's not all: to promote the girls' Olympic journey, GymFed launched a new campaign and a new website: Go Belgym. On this website, you'll be able to find gymnasts' infos, news and results. And you can even participate in your own way, by taking part in the longest forward roll chain!

On the Men's side, Maxime Gentges will take part in several individual international competitions (Baku, Austrian team Open) while the rest of the team will also compete at nationals and international competitions. Belgium will also send gymnasts to Germany for the DTB Pokal Team Challenge in Stuttgart as a final test for the Test Event.

Good news for Lisa Verschueren's fans. She was there in Ghent yesterday. If she is no longer able to train at the elite level, she choose to stay involved in gymnastics. She's now coaching at her club, Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas, and will travel to Rio with the team to support them.

Our gymnasts calendar until the Test Event : women's team
* 19 February: selection test
* 5-6 March: International Gymnix (Canada)
* 3 April: friendly match BEL-ROU-GER (Mouscron)
* 16-20 April: Rio Test Event (6 gymnasts + 1 alternate)

Our gymnasts calendar until the Test Event : men's team
* 19-21 February: World Challenge Cup (Baku, Azerbaijan). Maxime Gentges will represent Belgium
* 5-6 March: Provincial Championship (Stekene)
* 5 March: Austrian Team Open (Linz, Austria). Maxime Gentges will compete there
* 18-20 March: DTB Pokal Team Challenge (Stuttgart, Germany). Belgium will send its gymnasts as a last preparation test for the Olympic Test Event
* 16-20 April: Rio Test Event (2 gymnasts)

The first half of the year will be very busy for our national teams! I'll try to keep you updated as best as I can!

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