February 19 - Germany has officially launched its preparations to host the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in 2015.
The Organising Committee of the showpiece competition, due to be staged at the Porsche-Arena in the city of Stuttgart on September 7 until 13, have held their first meeting and planning is now underway to ensure both participants and spectators can "enjoy top international sport".
"After all, the event is the discipline's most important competition apart from the Olympic Games and serves as a qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics," Rainer Brechtken, President of the German Gymnastics Federation (DTB), said.
"Almost 500 gymnasts from around 50 nations are expected to compete in Stuttgart.
"For this, we want to provide the appropriate framework with our proven partners of the Swabian Gymnastics Federation and thanks to the financial support of the City of Stuttgart and the State of Baden-Württemberg.
"This means, for example, a full Porsche-Arena during the seven days of competition and a correspondent media perception before, during and after the event."
The organisers are aiming to "create a connection between the discipline of rhythmic gymnastics and the people of Stuttgart" to grow interest in the tournament.
The city is also hosting the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup earlier in the year, which Stuttgart Mayor for Culture, Education and Sport Susanne Eisenmann said will act as a "dress rehearsal for the 2015 World Championships".
Wolfgang Drexler, President of the Swabian Gymnastics Federation (STB), added: "As a sort of kick-off event to connect the public with rhythmic, we will be hosting the Gazprom Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup at the Porsche Arena on March 21-23.
"That will give the town its first taste of rhythmic and bring the motto 'Enjoy your rhythm' to life."
Meanwhile, former Olympic gymnast Magdalena Brzeska has been named as an ambassador of the event, something she said is "a great honour".
She added: "I am particularly pleased that the event will be held in Stuttgart, since I have grown and trained at the National Centre in Fellbach-Schmiden.
"I would also like to congratulate the organisers of the DTB and STB on the motto 'enjoy your rhythm', that builds a wonderful bridge between all the rhythmic enthusiastic groups across the whole country."
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