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Future Olympic stars in town

PUBLISHED: 09:54 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:13 23 August 2010

HOST: Club coach Yuriy Zhovtyuk trains his own Olympic hopefuls for the future.

HOST: Club coach Yuriy Zhovtyuk trains his own Olympic hopefuls for the future.

TOP gymnasts from the Ukrainian national squad will train at a Gravesend club as part of a seven-day visit. The team, which includes two gymnasts who competed in the Olympic Games in Beijing, is expected to arrive on Saturday for the visit to The Meapa g

TOP gymnasts from the Ukrainian national squad will train at a Gravesend club as part of a seven-day visit.

The team, which includes two gymnasts who competed in the Olympic Games in Beijing, is expected to arrive on Saturday for the visit to The Meapa gymnastics club, in Cedar Avenue, Gravesend.

The club has been chosen as a pre-games training camp for the 2012 London Olympics and for the London World Gymnastic Championships at the O2 Arena in October 2009.

Ukrainian Yuriy Zhovtyuk, who is head coach at the popular club, said: "This is an exciting time for the Meapa gymnasts and a fantastic opportunity for the girls to forge lifelong friendships and to be able to train alongside some of the world's top international gymnasts.

"It will also give them an insight into what it takes to be a top gymnast and what is required to compete at the very highest level."

Members of the club will work with the gymnasts to develop their skills on the floor, vault, bars and beam. Highlight of the visit will be a display by Ukrainian gymnasts at the Meapa annual club championships this Sunday.

The visitors include many medal-winning athletes, among them 18-year-old Dariya Zgoba, who came eighth on the bars in the apparatus event in Beijing, and 16-year-old Holenkova Valentya, who was also part of the national squad competing at the games.

A member of the Ukraine National Gymnastics Federation will accompany the squad and will asses whether the gym meets the standard required for training.

It was announced in March this year that the facilities at the venue met the strict criteria needed for it to be used as a training venue for athletes before the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other north Kent venues that have been chosen as pre-games training camps include equestrian venue Nurstead Court in Meopham, Dartford Football Club, Dartford Judo Club, Arrow Riding Centre for the Disabled and Brands Hatch racing circuit.

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