Juan Antonio Samaranch, former IOS-President, describes Rhythmic Gymnastics (short RG) as the „most charming and feminine sport in the world“.
The unique combination of coordination and athletic peak performance, sence of time and space, aesthetic exercise and creative skills challenges athletes and is significant for RG. This sport is unique for giving athletes the chance to unfold their personalities and express themselves.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is always performed with one or two pieces of apparatus and musicalaccompaniment.
The selection of apparatus, which will be used in competitions, is finalised by the International Gymnastics Federation every two years. There are five types of apparatus (clubs, hoop, ball, ribbon and rope) that are used for individual but also group performances.
At the European Championships in Vienna 2013 only the four apparatus hoobs, balls, clubs and ribbons will be used for individual competitions. Within the group competition the athletes will use five hoobs for their performances.
One individual routine lasts 1 minute 30, a group routine 2 minutes 30. The music played during routines is always tailored to the performances or even composed for that reason. The music can also include lyrics (since 2013).
History of Rhythmic Gymnastics (in Austria)
Rhythmic Gymnastics as a competitive discipline evolved after the Second Worldwar. The first World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships were held in Budepest in 1963, the first European Championships were held in Madrid in 1978.
In 1968 the first National Championships were held in Austria. This discipline was first namend modern gymnastics, than rhythmic sportive gymnastics and since 1998 it is finally known as rhythmic gymnastics.
Rhythmic gymnastics was added to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Until now four Austrian gymnasts have taken part in the Olympic Games: 1988 Elisabeth Bergmann (ranked 25th), 1996 Birgit Schielin (ranked 24th), Nina Taborsky (ranked 29th), 2008/2012 Caroline Weber (ranked 17th – the best austrian result so far).
The ÖFT has organised two top-events in Vienna: the European Championships in 1984 and the World Championships in 1995. Moreover, the world's elite competed in Austria in the Grand-Prix-Finals in 1994 (Vienna), 1996 (Vienna), 1998 (Linz), 1999 (Korneuburg), 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010 (Innsbruck) und 2012 (Hard)
Caroline Weber (TS Dornbin) is the present national champion and is also holding the national title record with 55 titels.
Competition Mode – EC Vienna 2013
At the European Championships in Vienna 2013 the group routine will stage within the junior class. Each group of five athletes will show its performance with five hoops twice during the qualifying. The top eight groups will be in the final.
Within the senior class the athletes will compete at the team contest where up to three athletes per team show eight free programmes in total. The eight best gymnasts per apparatus out of the team contest will compete within the final.
Furthermore the three best performances out of the team contest of each gymnast are added up and the the top 20 athletes of this assessment will be qualified for the individual apparatus competition at the European Championships 2014.
The floor area is a carpeted surface measuring 13 x 13 meters, surrounded by a one-meter wide security border. Any crossing of the boundaries is penalized. The competition hall has to be higher than 10 meters, so that the apparatus will not hit the ceiling or does not get stucked.