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Sport
12 Oct 2020

FIG announces Friendship and Solidarity Competition in Tokyo on 8 November

This FIG official international event, hosted by the Japanese Gymnastics Association (JGA) at the Yoyogi 1st Gymnasium, is unprecedented in several respects. This competition will see two teams compete, and the names of the teams – Team Friendship and Team Solidarity – make the message clear: Friendship and Solidarity shall triumph above all.

“This is a competition of hope. Friendship and solidarity will lead us towards better days,” said FIG President Morinari Watanabe.

“Gymnastics will once again light up the Olympic Games in Japan next year. After a challenging period, we are delighted to bring Gymnastics back to the Japanese public by welcoming many of our stars to Tokyo and giving them the chance for an innovative competition on a global stage,” he added.

An original concept

Each team is made of 8 female and 8 male athletes. These gymnasts either come from China, Russia, the United States and Japan, or are training in Japan, but their nationality does not matter. The teams’ composition is balanced in gender as well as in national representation.

Several multiple world champions are among the 32 athletes registered, including the living legend of Gymnastics Kohei Uchimura (JPN), the reigning world All-Around champion Nikita Nagornyy (RUS) and the 2018 world All-Around champion Artur Dalaloyan (RUS).

Kazuma Kaya (JPN), Yul Moldauer (USA) and Yin Dehang (CHN) on the men’s side, and Angelina Melnikova (RUS) and Elena Gerasimova (RUS) on the women’s side will also contribute to an event which is set to be a thrilling battle.

The coaches from each federation will split the gymnasts into the two teams. All the gymnasts can compete on all apparatus. The top three scores on each apparatus for the men and the top three scores for the women will count towards their team’s total. The event is a team competition only, without All-Around and apparatus rankings.

Safety first

A very strict medical protocol has been specially set up. This protocol complies with both the regulations of the Japanese authorities and the Medical Guidelines for FIG Competitions and Events During the COVID 19 Pandemic.

As part of these rigorous prevention and control measures, athletes and officials will undergo several PCR tests before arriving in Japan and during their stay in Tokyo. In the training hall and on the field of play the apparatus will be cleaned and disinfected during every session.

The number of spectators in the arena will be limited to 2,000.

Another step towards the technology of the future

The event will also offer a new opportunity to show the huge potential of artificial intelligence to reinforce the fairness of judging in Gymnastics. The Judging Support System developed by Fujitsu Limited will be used as an additional tool to confirm difficulty scores on the Vault, one year after its first official use in an FIG competition at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart (GER).