Lauren Targets Olympic History

8:10 PM

Below is a copy of an article from The Canberra Times from the March 5th, 2012 edition of an interview with Lauren Mitchell.



THERE'S no hiding in the shadows for Lauren Mitchell.
As the days and months to the Olympic Games are ticked off, the spotlight will shine brighter on the 20-year-old West Australian as she endeavours to become Australia's first female medallist in gymnastics.
The 2010 floor world champion has been fine-tuning her routines in Canberra for the past few days as part of an Australian competition camp at the AIS.
Since that breakthrough victory, Mitchell's preparations have been solely focused on being at the top of her game in London.
Even if it meant sacrificing a podium place at last year's world titles.
Mitchell unveiled an upgraded floor routine last year which she believes will give her the best chance of making history at the Olympic Games.
"Last year for me was like a test to see where I was and if I could put a few new moves into my routine in a competition environment," she said.
"That proved that I could.
"Even though I hit my routine it just wasn't the best on the day.
"Now I kind of know how to make it better so I'm that much more confident going into this year."
The floor and the beam are Mitchell's two main events, with a persistent shoulder injury meaning she is unable to train on the bars.
Mitchell described the injury as "kind of like a stress fracture" brought on by constant pounding during her long career, and puts in doubt her chances of competing in the all-around competition at the Olympics.
"We're not sure yet, we're playing it by ear," she said.
"Peggy [Australian coach Peggy Liddick] wants to put the best team out, and obviously if my bars isn't good enough then I won't be going up in bars anyway."
The Australian team flies out for competitions in the United States and Canada on Tuesday ahead of the national championships in May.
A final selection camp will be held in Canberra in June.
With only five female gymnasts, down from the usual six, making the cut for the Olympics, every chance to impress selectors is crucial, including the Pacific Rim Championships in Seattle later this month.
The biannual event features gymnastic powerhouses China, the US and Russia.
"There's a lot of big names there so it gives us a good view of where we're at before the Olympics," Mitchell said.

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