The British Olympic Association (BOA) announced today that Great Britain will be able to utilise a Host Nation Qualification Place to compete in the rhythmic gymnastics individual competition and has the opportunity to utilise a further six Host Nation Qualification Places to participate for Team GB in the group event at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The decision was made following a comprehensive consultation with British Gymnastics, which is the National Governing Body for gymnastics in Great Britain. The utilisation of the Host Nation Qualification Places for the group is subject to the British gymnasts meeting the National Governing Body’s Olympic selection criteria.
Today’s decision was made by the BOA Olympic Qualifying Standards Panel, which among others includes Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt; the BOA’s Director of Sport Sir Clive Woodward and a member of the BOA Athletes’ Commission.
BOA Chief Executive and Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“Following the exciting news that rhythmic gymnastics is one of a select group of five sports to have completely sold-out its ticket allocation for London 2012, I am pleased that Britain’s rhythmic gymnasts will have the opportunity to utilise the Host Nation Qualification Places.
“The fantastic level of interest demonstrated by the ticket sales represents a huge opportunity to showcase rhythmic gymnastics and ultimately increase the long term participation in the sport throughout the UK.
“The ball is now in the coaches and athletes’ court to focus on their training and performances in order to meet the selection criteria which will allow them to take up the Host Nation Qualification Places and compete in front of the enthusiastic support of the home crowd at Wembley Arena in the summer of 2012.”
Tim Jones, British Gymnastics London 2012 Team Leader said:
"We are incredibly grateful for the support received from the BOA throughout this process. The outcome gives us the green light to implement a policy to nominate a gymnast for inclusion in Team GB for the individual event, and a clear performance standard that must be achieved before we consider nominating a group. This will not only ensure our performances in the London Olympics are credible, but also provide rhythmic gymnastics with a suitable legacy for the future."
Commonwealth Silver Medallist Rhythmic Gymnast Francesca Jones said:
"It is fantastic for rhythmic gymnastics that our sport has the opportunity to be represented at London 2012, and I'm sure that the thousands of gymnasts, coaches and volunteers involved in the sport will be hugely excited by today's announcement. On a personal note, having trained for over ten years and committed a huge part of my life to the sport it is brilliant that I may now have the opportunity to complete my dream and compete in the Olympic Games for Team GB."