|Frankly, Ye blamed the FIG for the lack of
Chinese stars. According to him, it is nonsense to make the gymnasts perform on the
apparatuses, without having the possibility to warm up before. " It is dangerous, if
a gymnast falls, without having warmed up. The whole world has seen pictures of that on
TV. That is bad publicity for gymnastics, " criticised Ye. Furthermore, he does not
agree with the modus in the team finals, the 3-3 system: Three gymnasts perform, all of
them get valid scores. If only one makes a mistake, the whole team has lost, according to
Therefore it might happen, that the whole team
loses its chances for medals.
"For the good nations, this modus is not good" ,
In general this system included a high injury
risk, from which the Chinese federation wanted to keep its experienced star gymnasts. The
latter ones had already done a lot of international competitions this year. To perform
with full risk at the World Championships under the mentionned conditions and to
participate in the national Chinese Championships in Guangzhou one week later, was simply
Ye argued against the statement,
that a "third-class-team" was performing in Gent. The team actually consisted of
those gymnasts, who were supposed to defend the team' s medal at the Olympic Games in
Athen. At vault and the horizontal bar remained a lot of work, said Ye, but "What
counts is our performance, not the result."
Taiwan (below) and China cheer
However, the Chinese youngsters
do not want to return home without anything. Most likely to win a medal is Xiao Qin.
He was the best Chinese man at the pommel horse right now and could easily compete with
"It would not be surprising to me, if Xiao Qin got the Gold medal,
" says Ye Zhennan confidently. Zhang Shangwu was very solid at the rings
and had won at his apparatus at the Universiade. At the floor, Deng Weiwei and
Li Dongjie are Ye's favourites, at the bars Feng Jing and Zhen Shangwu.
According to Ye Zhennan, these
gymnasts are supposed to be the centre of the future Olympic team. Whom else would join
them, could not be said yet. Anyhow, it was possible that athletes from the Golden team of
Sydney would participate again in the Games in Athen.
Yang Wej, Huang Xu or Xing Aowej would not say
good bye to the international stage anyway. After the national Championships they would
travel to Taiwan for show performances and in the next year would participate in the Asia
Games, the individual World Championships in Budapest and in the Worldcup tournaments.
At the latter ones, says Ye,
those gymnasts, who "passed their test" in Gent, are supposed to start
more often: "That is an excellent preparation for the Olympic Games. And the
Olympic Games are more important than the Wolrd Championships. "
Photos: Reinhard Linder,
Translation: Janka Schmeißer