Event Preview - Team Competition Nations on the Grill!
posted on 10/10/2006

Everybody is eagerly waiting for the team competitions, insofar as this event already fills the air with an Olympic fragrance! It is indeed in Aarhus that the 24 best teams will be qualified for the 2007 Worlds in Stuttgart, where then the 12 best teams will be decided for the 2008 games! For Beijing, it is through Aarhus, but the transfer is in Stuttgart!

A quick review of the contenders
Certainly China already has a choice place in the Games, as the entire country is getting ready, Chinese style, for the 8th of August 2008 opening ceremony in Beijing. Will the men's or women's Chinese team already carry the color of their choice. the Olympic gold, in Aarhus? It is not certain. In the Chinese thinking, the objective of an Olympic gold is not yet within reach. To add one more detail, let us remember that the Chinese are world champions in title (Anaheim 2003) in front of the USA. Then there is Japan, methodical, with its potential, its peculiarities and its technique, and its capability to evolve and to adjust. In Athens, Japan was the Olympic champion in men's artistic. in front of the USA. For the first time since 2004, it is putting its crown at stake.

What about Korea? With a coach named Leonid Arkaev heading the women's team, we can expect any surprise. What about Russia, with Andrey Rodionenko at the helm and the eldest Kryukov and Bondarenko? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this Russian school of gymnastics, which has given for ages its best to the world of gymnastics? Maybe a return to the forefront? A new match JPN - RUS?
In less than one year, Germany will welcome the 24 nations qualified in Aarhus, and for these teams, it will be their last stop on the way to the Beijing Games. Accustomed to major gymnastics events, Germany will know how to present in Aarhus a team capable of negotiating the qualifications to compete on its own soil in 2007 and win a ticket to Beijing. A seventh gymnast will be in its ranks – the public of Stuttgart!

Who will stop the Americans? When Memmell, Liukin, and Scaramone bring their talents to serve the same cause, everyone in the gymnastic world pays attention! Then who, the Romanians, the Chinese, the Russians, or Italy? All bets are on, and everybody is delighted about it. Phs