Egypt's rhythmic gymnastics team reaches Olympics for first time
Ahram Online, Thursday 2 Oct 2014
Yasmine Rostom competed in the individual event at London 2012 but this is the first time Egypt has qualified for the team competition

Egypt's rhythmic gymnastics team has qualified for the Olympics for the first time after they finished 24th at the World Championships in Turkey last week.

"I congratulate the rhythmic gymnastics team for reaching the Olympic Games for the first time in history," Sport Minister Khaled Abdel-Azizsaid.

"I promise to support the team before they travel to the competition."

"We are discussing the allocation of a fully-equipped training hall at Cairo stadium for the team to prepare for the games," he added.

Egypt qualified for the Rio games became they were the only African team in the world top 24 that will be taking part in the world championships in Stuttgart next year. Ten teams will qualify to Rio through Stuttgart 2015 world championships, including top continental teams.

Egypt's squad includes six players from the Al-Gezira team: Jacinthe El-Deeb, Alia El-Katib, Aicha El-Kollaly, Yara Baraka, Malak Amr and Sara El-Qattan.

Rhythmic Gymnastics is a combination of movement and dance. In individual competitions, each participant makes a presentation in an area of 13 x 13m, with one of the five elements: ropes, balls, hoops, ribbons or clubs.

However, according to the rules of the International Federation of Gymnastics, only four elements are used in each Olympic cycle - from 2011 to 2016, for example, ropes will be excluded.

The same is true of team events, with five gymnasts per team. Each team performs two routines, one will use five balls, and the other three ribbons and two hoops.

It was added to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, with an individual all-around competition, while the group competition was added to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Egypt made their first appearance at rhythmic gymnastics at the London 2012 Olympics in the individual all-around competition when Yasmine Rostom, who qualified after winning the African Gymnastics Championships, competed. She finished 23 out of 24 competitors.

The 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro. The games will open on 5 August and the closing ceremony will be on 21 August.

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