Aussie gymnasts start Tokyo 2020 trail at Gymnastics World Cup
21 February 2019
Although it will be the third time Melbourne has hosted the Gymnastics World Cup, it is the first time the event will double as a chance at Olympic qualification.
Twenty seven year-old Mitchell Morgans will have attended all three of the events, but this one is extra special as he pushes towards a spot at Tokyo 2020.
"This is my third World Cup, but it's a really exciting one," the Sydney local said.
"It's the first Olympic qualifier we've had in Melbourne, which makes it pretty special. There are some big names here, so going up against the best in the world is something I'm really looking forward to."
Finishing on the podium at every World Cup since his debut in 2011, Morgans' short-term goal is to place in the finals of his events, parellel and high bar. This result would put him in good stead for a run at Olympic qualification.
"Making a final would be ideal for me. I believe that once you're in the final anything can happen, so making it that far is what I'm aiming for," he said.
"After this World Cup, we have two more, then we have Nationals which is where we select a team to go to the World Championships - which is another Olympic qualifier. Making top eight or getting the all around spot will put you in position for Tokyo 2020, otherwise we will have one more chance next year to qualify."
Go behind the scenes of Team Australia's Melbourne Gymnastics World Cup preparations with Mitch Morgans' #OlympicTakeover
Morgans' teammate and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Chris Remkes is another favourite headlining the Aussie Men's Team.
Like most of his teammates, Remkes started participating in gymnastics soon after he could walk, but his journey to greatness followed a unique path.
When he was just two days old, the youngster was abandoned and spent the first two years of his life in an orphanage in The Philippines, before he was adopted by a loving family in Australia who has supported his journey from the beginning.
"I started out in kindergym and tried a lot of sports, but always kept gravitating back to gymnastics... I mean, who doesn't love flipping around as a kid?
"It wasn't until I was about 12 that I started competing at an elite level," he said.
"From there, it's been a very interesting journey, a very blessed one. If I wasn't adopted, none of this would have been possible so I'm very grateful for the life that I've been given."
Remkes will compete in vault, floor and pummel and is hoping for a top three finish in his disciplines, giving him a good shot at Olympic qualification.
"To represent Australia at the Olympics would mean everything to me," the 22-year-old said.
"It would be a dream come true, I find myself speechless even trying to describe it."
Both Remkes and Morgans aim to grow the profile and popularity of men's gymnastics, in a sport generally more dominated by female athletes.
"It's a crazy sport, that is not as recognised as others but there are so many hours, time and effort that go into it. When you actually look into it, it's so cool to participate in, it's great to watch and just to be a part of in general."
Morgans echoed his thoughts,
"Hopefully we can build the profile because gymnastics is such a great sport and Chris and I are really keen to show other guys just how cool it is.
"It's great for your hand-eye co-ordination and what you learn is transferrable to other sports and benefits you in other areas of life."
You can catch Morgans, Remkes and the rest of the Aussie squad at the Gymnastics World Cup on Thursday 21 February from 6pm AEDT, get your tickets HERE
Australian Men’s Artistic Team
Australian Women’s Artistic Team