BEIJING, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's first rhythmic gymnastics Roll of Honor was unveiled here on Saturday.
The Chinese team won its historic gold medal in the 5 Hoops final at the 40th FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Valencia, Spain, this past August.
Guo Qiqi, Hao Ting, Huang Zhangjiayang, Pu Yanzhu, Wang Lanjing, and Ding Xinyi were honored as the first Chinese rhythmic gymnastics world champions on the Roll.
"This is a very emotional moment for us because we've been through so many difficulties, ups and downs, to get on the top of the podium," said coach Sun Dan.
"It means a lot, not only to us but also to all the Asian rhythmic gymnasts. I hope that it will be a brand new start of another great era for the world's rhythmic gymnastics."
Morinari Watanabe, the president of FIG, who attended the ceremony, recounted an interesting anecdote.
After China won the gold medal at the Asian Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in the Philippines in May, the Asian Gymnastics Union (AGU) arranged for Watanabe to award the gold medal to China. However, he refused and said encouragingly to the Chinese team: "I will only award medals to the world champion of China. So, fight hard to win the gold medal at the World Championships."
Watanabe expressed his hope to return to the ceremony next year, to honor the gold medalists of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in artistic, trampoline, and rhythmic gymnastics.
China's trampoline national team also saw two new world champions added to the Roll. Cao Yunzhu and Fan Xinyi, members of the title-winning women's team at the 36th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships, were honored on Saturday.
This year, China claimed two gold and three silver medals at the trampoline worlds. With their successful performance in the World Cup Series, China became the first team in trampoline gymnastics to secure all four tickets to the Paris Olympics.