Kitakyushu will host Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in 2021
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is delighted to announce that the city of Kitakyushu in Japan will hold both the 50th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and the 38th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in October 2021.
The FIG Executive Committee has entrusted the Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA) with the organisation of the two back-to-back World Championships. This dual allocation comes after the decision by the Danish Gymnastics Federation in July to withdraw from hosting the 2021 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Copenhagen.
The Artistic gymnasts will kick off what promises to be a vibrant fortnight in the Japanese city. The Kitakyushu General Gymnasium will be the venue as they vie for world titles; afterwards, the West Japan Exhibition Centre will stage the Rhythmic competitions. The exact dates of the two events will be confirmed soon.
Although Japan has already welcomed both the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, this will be the first time that Kitakyushu hosts a world-class Gymnastics event.
This city of almost one million, located on the island of Kyushu, is counting on the powerful appeal of the sport to bring new vitality to the region, which experienced rapid economic growth between 1960 and 1980.
FIG President Morinari Watanabe commented: “Kitakyushu, the city where I was born, was a prosperous city thanks to steelworks until forty years ago. However, it now has the oldest population of any city in Japan. From a steel city, it has become a top-class city promoting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
“This time, we are taking on the challenge of supporting economic activity and promoting the Sustainable Development Goals through sports. We are happy and proud that our Gymnastics family can take on the challenge of using sport as a tool for urban regeneration,” he added.
After the success of the Rhythmic Worlds in Mie in 2009 and the Artistic Worlds in Tokyo in 2011, the JGA is ready to host both events again despite the uncertainties resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a post-Olympic legacy, these World Championships are a great opportunity to continue the promotion and development of Gymnastics in Japan. If we can show that the World Championships can be held in these difficult circumstances, we believe that it will act as a beacon of hope for all sports,” said JGA President Hidenori Futagi.
How the health situation will be in one year’s time remains a big question. Special protocols will be drawn up and adjusted according to the reality of the risks next year.