Koch, Liukin denounce gymnast age rules

It’s refreshing to see some of the top coaches in the world explaining to the mainstream media why the International Gymnastics Federation age rules are a mistake. And unenforceable.

… the governing body (FIG), whose rules state competitors must be at least 16 during an Olympic year to compete at the Games, introduced a system where all gymnasts taking part in any major event will have to apply for a licence.

But German coach Ulla Koch told Reuters the whole process is a waste of time.

“They (FIG) are not really doing any additional checks on the passports or any other documents from before,” Koch said. …

The FIG were told by the International Olympic Committee to examine the ages of the Chinese team — which included He Kexin and Yang Yilin who are competing at the world championships in London — in Beijing and after a two-month investigation ruled the gymnasts had not broken any rules.

LiukinBut Russian-born American coach Valery Liukin, whose daughter Nastia won the all-around Olympic gold last year, said the FIG did not do itself any favours when it increased the age eligibility from 14 to 16.

“The Olympic champion should be the strongest gymnast on the earth today. Not 16 and over. That’s how I’ve always felt. …

Yahoo Sports – Gymnastics-Age-old problems cannot be wiped out

The only time the media is much interested in this issue is during Olympics and World Championships.

Photo by Grace Chiu.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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