News, Oh Glorious News! Australian Gymnastics in the Spotlight

8:17 AM

Another Blaine Wilson article, just for one Miss Lara K. check it out at this link

Channel 7 here in good old Australia has announced its line-up of commentators for the games - I am still a little perplexed that Daniel Kowalski is one of the commentators for the Triathlon? BUT anyhow the commentators for gymnastics will be Liz Chetkovich -yayyayyayyayyay! and Simon Reeve. See the full list on this site.

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS AND OLYMPIC SELECTION TRIALS START OFFICIALLY TODAY:
And boy has the media gone in a frenzy - hurray for the exposure, although most the articles say the same thing, but hey, Australian Gymnastics is indeed getting some well deserved attention!
From FOX sports: Liddick aiming for third place - Can I safely say the top 3 spots - Dasha, Lauren and Ash Brennan, and the fourth maybe Shona? -

Liddick said she would pick a team that had proved it could handle the basics under pressure.

"The top three or four spots are pretty much secure, so for the last two spots, there are about eight girls fighting for that," she said.

"'There may be somebody who doesn't have oodles of international experience, but they handle themselves very calmly (at the trials)."

From The Australian: Bar set high as gymnasts target medal -
WITH world-class Perth duo Daria Joura and Lauren Mitchell spearheading her team, national head coach Peggy Liddick believes Australia can contend for a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Australia has never won a medal in artistic gymnastics and will be competing in the backyard of powerhouse China, but Liddick insists she has the talent to win medals, as the national championships begin in Melbourne today.

Wow, compliments of sort from Peggy? I think I might just underestimate her. Also from this article a little bit of quotes from Miss Joura and Miss Mitchell themselves. Very exciting with talks of Joura's new floor pass and Lauren's vault -

With her supremacy under threat, Joura will raise the bar in Melbourne by introducing a double back layout somersault in her first tumbling pass, boosting the value of her floor routine.

"Sometimes you have to take a risk when a skill is still a bit inconsistent, so you can get it consistent by the Olympic Games," Joura said.

"Doing something consistently in training is different to competition because you need to be able to control your emotions in competition."

Mitchell has also upgraded her vault this year to become more competitive.

Liddick couldn't be happier with what she has seen in training leading into the four-day competition.

"Through the national camps, I warned them 'don't even bother showing up if you aren't going to pay attention to landings and consistent performance'," Liddick said.

"It's not about the skills this week. It's about how cleanly and consistently you can perform it. We want the most dependable gymnasts we can find."

From the Sydney Morning Herald: Coach sets the bar high as medal hunt begins - This article talks about the same sort of things as the others, however does factor in the 3 major missing gymnasts that could have made an impact on Beijing - Hollie, Chloe and Monette and cites this in a roundabout way as the reason Peggy will have to include some relatively unexperienced girls in the team. A good quote from this article:

"What I'm looking for is the consistency, their ability to perform when the green light is on and the judges are watching, and when the pressure is on. The first four spots are pretty much secure, but it's the last two spots and there's about eight girls fighting for that. Those are the kinds of things that are going to make the difference."

Bronze Aussies - The Age: Now is that a pic of Miss Bonora?

"We're going to have every training session geared towards that … we're going to go down in a blaze of glory if we do go down, and if we hit, there's a possibility to win the medal, so that's our approach."

Although Liddick will hand-pick her team based on results from the next two days, as well as previous internal trials and external meets, and the final selection phase in Canberra next month, Daria Joura, Lauren Mitchell, Ashleigh Brennan and Shona Morgan appear ensconced, leaving Olivia Vivian, Georgia Bonora, Emma Dennis, Amber Fulljames and Melanie Jones heading the hopefuls for the final two places. Queensland's Sam Simpson will be Australia's sole men's representative.

And for some words from Dasha:

"We have had a few setbacks just recently with retirements in the lead-up to the trials, so that has been unfortunate, but I do believe that we do have a lot of strong contenders for the team.

"There's so much media attention around; everyone's like 'oh, 100 days, 80 days', and it seems like such a short time, but for us we don't think about it in that way, because we know there's so much work to be done."

And there is more. Watch this space is all I can say. I know there was a small little write up in the West Australian today as well.

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