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Seasoned Gaudry jumping at Rio chance

12 August 2016

GYMNASTICS - TRAMPOLINE: Trampolinist Blake Gaudry created history in his debut in London with an Olympic record degree of difficulty in his opening compulsory routine, but he is planning on almost the opposite when he attempts to qualify for his first Olympic final in Rio on Saturday (August 13).

Gaudry, 24, and coach Viktor Zhuravlev, whose father Nikolay guided Gaudry to 13th in the London Olympics, have decided on a lower degree of difficulty but with a high flight time for the first (compulsory) routine and a higher degree for the second (voluntary) routine than in London.

“Blake’s compulsory routine could have one of the lowest degree of difficulty scores, but the flight time will be quite high … the amount of time in the air will be about 19 seconds,” said Zhuravlev.

“We are hoping to be more consistent, with a high performance and high execution. In the voluntary routine, we have increased our difficulty in the routine from London from 16.0 to 16.9.”

In London, Gaudry was ninth after the first routine, but fell on the seventh of his 10 skills in the voluntary routine, missing a finals berth.

“After training for 15 years, it all comes down to 90 seconds in total of (three) routines,” Gaudry said.

“The sport is very unforgiving; you have a fall and it is all over. That’s the nature of the sport.

“Rio will be one of the tough Olympics for trampolining; there are four guys who could win gold and another eight at the same level (including Gaudry).

“My goal is to make the final, but as long as I nail my routine I won’t be disappointed. Anything can happen … in a recent international, five of the field fell.”

If he qualifies for the final in Rio after his first two jumps, Zhuravlev and Gaudry will weigh up their options for the second and final voluntary routine.

“Whether we take a risk or be more consistent, we will decide on the day,” said Zhuravlev.

“It will come down to how Blake is handling it on the day mentally. It will be a mutual decision.”

Gaudry has been meticulous in his pursuit of Olympic success, recording every skill and degree of difficulty and every session in a training diary for the past five years

And while he flipped a coin to decide his career post-Olympic competition, he has left nothing to chance for his second Games appearance.

Gaudry has spent the past six months training full-time after making a commitment to study full-time last year to complete his Masters of Architecture, a career he almost stumbled into.

“In Year 12 I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I flipped a coin to decide – I was thinking about teaching, viticulture (science, production and study of grapes) and design studies,” Gaudry said.

“I’ve always been interested in how things work and being creative. I started a design studies degree at Adelaide University which changed to architecture two years in.”

Gaudry completed his Masters degree so that he can become a registered architect and hopes to get a graduate job after Rio.

“I would love to be able to create something landmark worthy,” said Gaudry, who has had the opportunity through sport to travel around the world and experience some amazing architecture.

“I dream big like with my sport. I am not content just to sit at a desk.

“I will keep pushing to come to the top of my field.”

Tracie Edmondson

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