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5:58 AM

Gym star to coach in Cairns

Craig Ross

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TALK about raising the bar in the Cairns gymnastics coaching ranks.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rebecca Stoyel is lending her expertise to the keen youngsters at Southside Gymnastics Club.

The former Australian artistic representative won an individual gold medal on the uneven bars on her way to an overall competition silver medal at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.

She also added an Australian team bronze to her tally.

The Adelaide product said she was enjoying her new challenge.

"I’m really loving it and the kids are great," she said.

"The atmosphere in the gym is really fun and they’re all working hard.

"There’s a lot of talent here and really good quality coaches."

Stoyel overcame a torrid run with injuries to star at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

She broke her hand on the uneven bars a month out from the 1994 national championships, which doubled as world championship trials.

She missed the nationals but pushed through her injury to attend a world championships training camp, gaining selection only to break her foot while dismounting from the beam on the eve of the competition.

Stoyel bounced back to secure her three Commonwealth Games medals and then returned to Canada two weeks later to contest an invite-only competition.

Competing in a world class field which featured Lilya Podkapiva, of the Ukraine, who went on to win the 1996 Olympics gold medal, Stoyel finished third on the bars and sixth overall.

She continued her strong form on the Tour of America in 1995, taking overall honours in Atlanta but injury prevented her returning for the following year’s Olympics after again breaking her foot.

The 29-year-old said she missed competition but was just as happy in the coaching role.

Raising the bar: New Southside Gymnastic Club coach Rebecca Stoyel, who won gold at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, takes Krista Hayward through her paces." width="320">

Raising the bar: New Southside Gymnastic Club coach Rebecca Stoyel, who won gold at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, takes Krista Hayward through her paces.


from: http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2008/05/20/3963_local-sport-news.html

I am happy that she's doing so well and still has such a great love for her sport. She was always a favourite gymnast of mine all those years ago. Great list of achievements but am absolutely HORRIFIED that this journalist has misspelled Lilia Podkopayeva's name!


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