The 48th edition of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, which will be held between October 25 – November 3, 2018, at the Aspire Academy Dome in Doha, Qatar. This will mark the first time that the Championships will have been held in Qatar and the Middle East. On This Week takes a look at some gymnasts born during the next 7 days in bygone years.
Bedřich Šupčík was born either in Austria, possibly Vienna on this day in 1898. A former Czechoslovakian gymnast and Olympic champion, in fact the first ever Czech Olympic gold medallist. He competed at the 1924 Games in Paris where he won gold in the rope climbing event and a bronze in the all-around individual competition. Rope climbing was contested only at the 1896, 1904, 1906, 1924, and 1932 Olympics. The 1924 event was scored first on style points, but 22 athletes were awarded perfect 10s, so the time taken to complete the rope climb was used to decide the winner. Bedřich finished his climb in 7.2 seconds with the French competitor Albert Séguin second in 7.4 seconds. Four years later in Amsterdam Bedřich won silver in the team combined exercises. He also won two world championship titles in 1926 and 1930. He worked for the Mining and Metallurgical Company but after he retired from gymnastics he moved with his family to Prague, but continued to coach gymnastics. After WWII he worked as a traveling salesman for a fire extinguisher company and later even became an expert in fire protection and safety. In 1948 he suffered one of three heart attacks, the third fatal one taking place in 1957, he died in hospital in Písek, Czechoslovakia on 11th July aged 58 and is buried in the local cemetery, and there is a rope climbing event that is held in his memory ever year.
Maja Veršeč, Yugoslav gymnast was born on this day in 1916 in Zagreb, Croatia, at the moment her date of death is unknown. She participated at theOlympic Games in Berlin in 1936 in the team competition. The team consisted of eight gymnasts: Dušica Radivojević , Lidija Rupnik , Marta Pustišek , Olga Rajković , Dragana Đorđević, Ančka Goropenko , Katarina Hribarand Maja Veršec. Based on the collection of individual results in three disciplines, a place within the national team was given, and six highest placed, from eight members of the national team, competed in the second round or group exercise. All results of the first and second part were collected and the result of the result then worked out. The Yugoslav team took fourth place with 485,60 points.
Vladimir Markelov was born on this day in 1957 in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Affiliated to the club CSKA Moskva he competed at both the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, winning team all-around silver in Montreal and going one better four years later at the Russian home Games. He was also part of the gold medal winning soviet team at the 1979 World championships and the silver medal winning team in 1974. Individually his best result was a bronze medal on the parallel bars at the 1974 World championships.
Born today in Bergisch Gladbach, Nordrhein-Westfalen in Germany in 1987 – Fabian Hambüchen. Affiliatied to the TSG Niedergirmes and KTV Straubenhardt clubs his first major senior competition was the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim. He competed 4 events in qualifications, but the German team did not advance to the final. He was the youngest German athlete at the 2004 Athens Olympics where the German team finished 8th in the team event final. Competing all told at three Olympics – winning a gold, silver and bronze, as well as 9 World Championship medals, 11 European and 3 Universidad he retired in 2016 after the Rio Olympics, where he won his third Olympic medal and first gold, becoming the horizontal bars champion. He was voted German sportsman of the year in 2007 and 2016.
British gymnast Rebecca Tunney was born on this day in 1996 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. She joined the City of Liverpool gymnastics club when she was ten years old to train with coach, Claire Duffy, who said “She was tiny, quite scruffy and overwhelmed by the environment, but keen and excited to get in there and give it a go. When she first won a medal, you could see how she loved to train to win. She’d had a taste of medals and that was exactly what she wanted to do: she wanted to be a champion”. Representing GB at the 2014 European Championships in Sofia she won a team silver and with England at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games she came back with a team gold and an individual gold and bronze in the vault and floor respectively. At the 2012 Games she was Team GBs youngest athlete at the games, aged 15. She helped the British team qualify in fifth place and finish in 6th overall and individually she qualified to the all-around final, placing 13th. She was chosen to represent GB at the first ever European Games but had to withdraw due to injury and was named an alternate for the Rio Olympics. She announced her retirement from gymnastics on 6th April 2017 to concentrate on university work and a potential coaching career in the future.
Margit Tóth was born on thus day in 1961 in Dunaújváros, Hungary, where she competed for her local club. At 14 she competed at the Montreal Olympics and was placed 4th in the all-around team final while also reaching the individual final where she finished 17th. Earlier that year she won the national uneven bars title which would be her only senior title. She qualified again for the national team for 1978 World Championships, where the team again placed fourth, but she did not have any individual success. She retired from the national team due to exhaustion in 1979, but returned in 1981, when she competed in the World Championships once again, coming 8th with the team. She was for quite some time the only exponent of note on the beam from her country. After she retired in 1981 she focused on her education, becoming a physical education teacher and gymnastics coach. Margot died at the relatively young age of 55 on 18th December 2016.
British gymnast Samuel Hodgetts was born on this day in 1877 in Birmingham. Affiliated to the City of Birmingham club he was competed at the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Olympics. In 1908 he finished 8th in the individual all-around event, in 1912 he finished in 25th in the same competition but won a bronze in the team. At 1912 every team had to provide its own hand apparatus for the free-standing exercises p- he was the oldest member of the British gymnastics team at 34, these Games also marked the first time that competitors from all five continents were represented. In 1920 Samuel was part of the GB team that finished in 5th place. He spent a good deal of time judging local competitions and coaching youngsters in his locality. Employment wise he worked in the brass industry, mostly in the manufacturing sector. He died on 4th March 1944.