By James Crook
July 26 - The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) have confirmed that they do not believe that conditions at gymnastics venue El Pueblo Coliseum will improve enough to host trampoline, tumbling, acrobatic and aerobic events at the World Games, despite reassurances from Cali 2013.
The ongoing farce with the gymnastics venue has overshadowed events at the World Games, causing the ribbon events to be cancelled yesterday due to strong draughts from the air conditioning system and events today being delayed due to an issue with the air conditioning, which led to the temperature reaching an unacceptable level in the training and warm-up tent.
"With the information we have at this point in time and the experience of the past days, we find it very hard to believe that [Cali 2013] will be able to stabilise the temperature in the provisional tents and the competition venue," said FIG secretary general André Gueisbuhler.
"For reasons unknown to the FIG, [Cali 2013] still believes that it will be able to meet all requirements in due time."
A statement from the FIG has confirmed that themselves, and the International World Games Association (IWGA), will not allow athletes to compete in facilities that are in any way sub-standard.
"In the case of trampoline, tumbling, acrobatic and aerobic gymnastics, the FIG as well as the IWGA cannot and will not allow any compromise," it reads.
"This was confirmed in writing by the IWGA, signed by their CEO and the President of their Medical Commission.
"Cali Local Organising Committee (CLOC) was informed accordingly.
"Aerobic Gymnastics is a very intensive discipline and trampoline, tumbling and acrobatic gymnastics are disciplines which bear the risk of serious accidents.
"FIG and IWGA agreed not to allow trainings and competitions in these disciplines to start should the gymnasts be at risk.
"This includes that the temperature in the venues may not exceed 24 degrees as per the Technical Regulations of the FIG.
"The FIG regrets to state that in spite of two site visits and regular meetings with the CLOC and IWGA over the past two years, as well as written guarantees received by CLOC, CLOC has not done the promised renovation of the competition venue and therefore seems to be unable to deliver regular training and competition venues."
There has been some action at El Pueblo Coliseum as the hoop, ball and club rhythmic gymnastics events eventually took place today, albeit with a delay.
Ganna Rizatdinova of Ukraine was practically flawless with the hoop as she took the highest scores for difficulty and execution in both the qualification round and the final to assert her superiority over her opponents and ensure the gold.
The 20-year-old scored 17.950 in the final to finish clear of three-time World Championship team silver medallist Melitina Staniouta of Russia with 17.450, and bronze medallist Elizaveta Nazarenkova, also of Russia, with 17.033.
But there was gold for Staniouta with the ball, as she improved her qualification score by almost .5 points in the final to score 17.800, narrowly ahead of top qualifier Ganna Rizatdinova of Ukraine with 17.766 in second and another Ukrainian Alina Maksymenko, who took bronze with 17.550 points.
The FIG will now inspect the warm-up and training tents for trampoline, tumbling and acrobatic gymnastics events on Saturday, due at 6pm local time, and the competition venue will be inspected Sunday morning at 8am local time, with decisions on the status of the competition to be announced in due course.
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