A group of young athletes from Taiwan attended the 43rd “Turnier der Meister” competition in Cottbus in Germany between November 22 and 25. This was an official tournament of the 2018 FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) Individual Apparatus World Cup.
The tournament in Cottubus was the last World Cup event of 2018. It was also the first competition where Lee Chih-Kai, one of the ambitious athletes from Taiwan, had to do his best to earn the points to qualify to participate in further World Cup Competitions.
And indeed, Lee Chih-Kai won the gold medal in the pommel horse event, with 15.508 points. He defeated Hao Weng from Mainland China, who won the silver medal, and Saeed Reza Keikha from Iran, who won the bronze medal.
Lee Chih-Kai displayed his fantastic skills performing the so-called ”Thomas Flair moves” in Cottbus perfectly; so perfectly that his coach Mr. Lin Yu-Hsin raised his arms and gave Lee Chih-Kai a huge hug to express his extreme pleasure in their “team-work”. At an interview on November 24, Lee Chih-Kai told a journalist from the Central News Agency (中央社) that this event in Germany is the very first of the coming series of seven competitions that give athletes a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and so the best sports athletes in the whole world were here. For this reason he decided to perform the artistic movements classed as having the highest grade of difficulty, 6.5.
He also told the journalist how anxious he had felt, both before his performance, when he wondered whether the judges would approve of his movement-sequence choice, and then during his performance. But he was very delighted with his final score. His successful performance won him 30 Olympic qualifying points, a very good “door opener” for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Ms. Weng Chin-Ying, the Director of the Education Division at the Taipei Representative Office in Germany went to Berlin Tegel Airport to farewell the delegation of athletes from Taiwan. She expressed her hearty congratulations and wished them a safe trip home.
Photo:Ms. Weng Chin-Ying, Director of the Education Division at the Taipei Representative Office in Germany (back row, 4th left) at Berlin Tegel Airport farewelling the Taiwan athletes returning home, with their coach Lin Yu-Hsin (back row, 3rd left), and gold medal winner Lee Chih-Kai (front, 2nd left).