After facing COVID-related delays and doubts over whether it would actually take place, the Olympics 2020 is almost upon us, with a number of Team GB athletes hoping to jump, flip and dance their way to victory in the Gymnastic events.
This year’s gymnastic events will take place at Tokyo’s Ariake Gymnastics Centre, where the competing gymnasts will finally get a chance to show off their impressively agile skills one year after the games were originally due to take place.
If you’re a gymnastics newbie or just want a comprehensive rundown of who’ll be competing this year in the artistic and rhythmic categories, then you’ve come to the right place.
RadioTimes.com has broken down everything you need to know about gymnastics at the Olympics in 2021.
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When is gymnastics at the Olympics?
The artistic gymnastics events run between Saturday 24th July until Tuesday 3rd August, starting with all-round and team events before moving onto the individual elements.
Rhythmic gymnastics is one of the very last events of the Games, running from Friday 6th August until Sunday 8th August.
Check out our guide on how to watch Olympics 2020 or see Olympics on TV today for more details, timings, and exclusive expert analysis from some of the biggest names in world sport over the coming weeks.
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When did gymnastics become an Olympic sport?
Gymnastic events – artistic, rhythmic and trampoline – have been contested at the Olympic Games since the first Summer Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens.
Only men were allowed to compete in the artistic gymnastics events until 1928, with women making their debut in the category during the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, rhythmic gymnastic events were introduced in 1984, with trampolining events being competed for the first time 16 years later.
When do the gymnastic events take place at the 2020 Olympics?
In the Artistic Gymnastics category, the qualifications are due to take place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th July, with the finals stretching from Monday 26th until Thursday 29th, and Sunday 1st August until Tuesday 3rd.
As for Rhythmic Gymnastics, in which no one from Team GB is competing this year, the qualifications take place on Friday 6th July, with the finals happening on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th August.
Which Team GB athletes are in Tokyo?
This year, British gymnasts qualified for places in the men’s artistic and women’s artistic competition, as well as two individual places in the women’s trampoline event.
The athletes representing Great Britain in this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are as follows:
Men’s Artistic Gymnasts
- Joe Fraser
- James Hall
- Giarnni Regini-Moran
- Max Whitlock MBE
Women’s Artistic Gymnasts
- Amelie Morgan
- Alice Kinsella
- Jennifer Gadirova
- Jessica Gadirova
Which Gymnastics events are contested at the Olympics?
Gymnastics at the Olympics is split into three categories: artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.
In artistic gymnastics, there are eight categories for men and six categories for women. Four categories are competed in by both men and women: all-around team, all-around individual, floor exercise and vault.
Only men can compete in the pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar categories, while only women can compete in uneven bars and balance beam competitions.
As for rhythmic gymnastics, there’s just individual all-around – where individual gymnasts perform on a floor with a hoop, ball, clubs, ribbon or rope – and group all-around, which sees a team perform together.
How to qualify for gymnastics?
The standards for qualification in the Olympic gymnastics events were changed significantly ahead of the 2020 games, with artistic gymnastics teams being reduced from five members to four, and a maximum of two more places available for athletes in individual events.
All athletes taking place in Men’s competitions must be born before 31st December 2003, while in Women’s competitions, they must be born before the same date in 2005. All athletes must hold a valid FIG (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique) license, while only National Olympic Committees which had teams entered in the 2018 or 2019 World Championships can earn a place in the competition.
This year, the UK managed to qualify eight athletes in the Artistic Gymnastics events, however none in the Rhythmic Gymnastics competition.
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