3 August 12:44 (BST)

Belgian women's gymnastics team pull out of team final

GLASGOW - The Belgian women's gymnastics squad have withdrawn from the team final at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

Despite having qualified for the final in third place, the coaching team and competitors have decided to skip the final in order to focus on long-term goals.

According to the Belgian gymnastics federation, they will focus on the 2018 world championships in Doha, Qatar, which serves as a first qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"We start our preparations for the world championships next week and we don't want to risk anything, especially since we have only a few fit gymnasts on our team," head coach Marjorie HEULS said.

The Italy team that finished ninth in Thursday's qualification will replace Belgium in the final on Saturday 4 August.

The Belgian gymnasts who qualified for individual apparatus finals will still compete in the apparatus finals on Sunday.

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