STOP PRESS!

2:37 AM

An interview with WA Gymnasts Lauren Mitchell and National Level 10 competitor Nicole Smith will be broadcast TONIGHT at 7.20pm (WST) on Perth radio station 6PR as part of the Sport Central show with Karl, Jacko and Brad. I will be tuning in and I can assure you that I will have my pen flying, making notes from the interview. A pretty solid interview in my opinion especially since they have been covering a lot of AFL, World Cup soccer and cricket etc.

ETA: 7.17pm (WST) Unfortunately Lauren was not in the studio, so it was a phone interview and I am quite sad that Nicole Smith was not available for interview. I look forward to seeing her in action though!
I was really happy to see that Mark Readings and Peter Bell were very supportive and knew what they were asking. Will definitely start tuning in more often. I don't often listen to the radio, apart from in the car and even then it's usually during the day and all there is is music and celebrity gossip.

The presenters introduce Lauren by talking about her setback., having strained an abductor muscle but they say that Mitchell should be healthy in time for the Commonwealth Games. Lauren says that during the lead up to a competition they do training and also have mini competitions and it is during one of the latter that she pulled her abductor muscle which is too sore to risk Lauren getting prepared for Nationals and consequently competing. As a result of missing this all important National Championships, Lauren's coaches will submit a petition to the selection committee which is based on what the gymnast has done/achieved in the past and whether they believe that the gymnast will be ready for the competition. Ms. Mitchell was asked what effect not competing at Nationals would have to the preparation for future competitions ie. the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, to which she replied that whilst it would have been great because she has not competed for six months (and I presume it would have been nice to see where she stands compared to the rest of the Australian seniors), however there are verifications/control tests held in the lead up to such competitions which will provide some of that competition experience which is helpful.

She told listeners that the 2009 World Championships were "amazing", which she also described about winning two medals and that she knew she had done "a good routine" on the balance beam and that she was confident about what she had performed but knew there was no time to celebrate because there was still floor exercise to go where she was ranked 2nd after seven people and the coaching staff knew she would win a medal although they were not sure of what colour it would be.

Lauren started gymnastics when she was six and seven years old and became and I quote "above average on balance beam," yes that's what the presenters asked, and I can tell you that it was when she was a junior (14-15 years old) and on floor exercise Lauren said that it has always been a strong apparatus for her, although over the last couple of years she has really worked on the difficulty of the routine.

The question of 2012 and age come up. Loz will be 21 years come London and she admits that in gymnastics that is old. In the Eastern World, especially that of the European gymnasts she estimated they retire in their mid-20's after two or three Olympics and in the Western world gymnasts appear to retire in their 20's or after a couple of Olympics. And yes she made reference to five-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina.

Lauren does not have much in the way of sponsorships. At the beginning of the year she receives a Grant from the Australian Government which goes towards fees and helps pay medical bills etc. And they (the presenters) are sure WAIS would also make sure it's elite gymnasts are okay. As a result they feel that if you can assist in terms of sponsorship that you should get in contact with (WAIS I'd presume) to organise something. I'm not too clear on the specifics and neither were they.

But the final thing they said was that Lauren is a great ambassador for the sport and that they urge everyone to get on board and support her.

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