The national team aims for a spot in 40th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships when the country hosts the 14th Rhythmic Gymnastics Asian Championships and the 19th Junior Asian Gymnastics Championship starting today at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Gymnastics Association of the Philippines deputy secretary general Rowena Bautista said during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that the national team’s goal is to make it within the top seven in the individual all-around and team all-around as well as in the apparatus to earn a ticket to the World Championships which will take place in Valencia, Spain from 23 to 27 August.
The competition will formally open at 2 p.m. and will feature 212 athletes from 20 different countries.
“The goal is to qualify for the World Championships. The medal would be a bonus for us,” Bautista said.
Breanna Labadan, who represented the Philippines in the 39th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria from 14 to 18 September 2022, and 2019 Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist Daniela de la Pisa, will banner the 12-man team.
In last year’s edition of the Asian Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, Uzbekistan dominated the scene with 10 gold, five silver and two bronze medals.
With the event setting scrapped in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia last 5 to 17 May, Bautista hopes the Filipino gymnasts will be able to perform their best especially with the home crowd supporting them.
‘The goal is to qualify for the World Championships. The medal would be a bonus for us.’
“Since our RG team wasn’t able to play in this SEA Games, they were able to focus. We’re hoping they will be able to perform well in the Asian Championships,” Bautista said.
“Hopefully they excel and this is the first time for these athletes to perform in the Asian Championships here in the Philippines.”
Taking part are China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan and Vietnam as well as Australia and New Zealand from Oceania.
The GAP is upbeat that the event will produce a top talent who might end up becoming the country’s next big thing in gymnastics.