Joura Floors Them

12:47 AM

22 May, 2008

A stunning floor routine by defending champion Daria Joura has the West Australian on track to win a third consecutive all-around title at the Australian Championships and Olympic selection trials at Vodafone Arena in Melbourne.

Joura produced a flawless floor routine, including a quadruple pirouette for the first time in competition, to score a personal best total of 15.75, the best score in the world this year, and an effort that would almost certainly put her into medal calculations in Beijing if reproduced on the Olympic stage.

Joura was most impressive on all four apparatus, and with a first day all-around total of 61.600 that eclipsed her personal best she confirmed Head Coach Peggy Riddick’s belief that the 18-year-old West Australian is a definite medal chance come August.

“It will take at least that to be in the top five and as far as I know Cheng Fei scored a 15.7 last week at the world Cup in China and I haven’t seen a floor higher than that this year.”

Fei, the 2006 world champion on floor, is seen by many as the standard to beat at her home Games and Joura’s effort will have the world cup winner on floor and a silver medallist at the Pacific Rim Championships earlier this year, high on the list of medal chances in Beijing.

“There’s still some bugs to be worked out for sure but it was really pleasing to see. There were some new skills thrown today and they were completed successfully,” Liddick said.

For her part, despite the magnitude of her efforts, Joura was not letting the prospect of Games success distract her.

“That was definitely the best floor I’ve ever done,” Joura said.

“I had a quad turn as well which went great and they counted that. The competition is my best scorewise and to score well over 61[D1] I’m pretty happy with that. The best thing though is that there is so much to improve on.”

Victorian Shona Morgan, a 2007 world championships representative, produced the best score of her career (60.400) to lead Victoria to the team’s title. Morgan was ably supported by teammates Ashleigh Brennan (59.450) and Emma Dennis (58.200) who all strengthened their claims for an Olympic team spot with solid performances.

The surprise was Joura’s West Australian teammate Lauren Mitchell who got off to a horror start on bars and despite improved efforts on the remaining apparatus, lies in 5th spot with 57.15, just ahead of Victorian Georgia Bonora (56.800), WA’s Olivia Vivian (55.225) and Queenslander Amber Fulljames (54.200) who rounds out the top eight.

The men’s all-around final will be held tonight with the women’s final concluding tomorrow night at Vodafone Arena.

Gymnastics Australia

Go Dash! You know I'd actually not thought of her floor score in those terms. Miss Joura you are fantastic and you go girl!!

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