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Positive steps made for Aussies at World Championships

8 October 2017

GYMNASTICS: The conclusion of the Women’s All-Around Final in Montreal last night, also signifies the end of Australia’s campaign at the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.

For our Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) team, Georgia Godwin was the top performer, reaching the All-Around Final and placing 13th, seven places higher than her 20th position in Qualifications.

Eyes have been on the Australian Women’s Artistic Gymnastics team in Montreal this week, after US super-coach, Mihai Brestyan, was announced as Australia’s new National Coach in March earlier this year.  Whilst Brestyan has only been in the role for six months, it appears that his famed training regime is beginning to show its effects.

“It’s been a tough week I’m not going to lie,” Godwin laughed, “…routines every day…but definitely it helped me in the end.  Being able to hit two days of four from four [error-free routines] it’s been great…it’s paid off so I think I’ll definitely be sticking with that.”

Brestyan echoed Godwin’s comments, saying that you could literally see her improvement in the training gym, day-by-day.

“The changes we did in the [training] program and the consistency…that brings Georgia on the competition day to trust herself…she did the program perfectly, she didn’t allow herself to do extra mistakes.  She did exactly what I asked of her, so when she came to the competition she didn’t feel extra pressure - she was prepared.”

Brestyan added that moving forward in Australian gymnastics, the will to want to be better needs comes from the ‘inside’.

“It’s about shifting the mindset from them [the athletes] just wanting to make the team.  You need to want to be the World Champion, the Olympic Champion…” he continued.  “Fight for something…we do not just come here for participation.

“Every day you should have a goal to be better than yesterday…if they don’t come to the gym with a goal every day then we will achieve nothing.”

Despite Godwin’s stellar performance at the World Championships in Montreal, Brestyan continued that there is still a lot of work to be done back home.  However, the future remains bright for Australian gymnastics.

 “There is nothing wrong with the athletes we have, we just have a small number of them,” Brestyan explained, “but with the number of them we have they need to want to win, and have their sights on winning.

“We’ve made a good step but we’re still way off the international standard of where we want to be. Our gymnasts and coaches need to step up their expectations.

“It’s not about the talent - we need to compete for our status in international gymnastics.”

He added that he hopes Godwin can take her positive experience from Montreal to be a future leader of the Australian WAG team.

“For her I think she can be a very good role model…she can now get a little bit of fresh air [post World Championships] and be a good leader for the team moving forward…if she can come [to the gym] with this attitude, then I have support.”

The final results for the rest of Australia’s WAG team from the 47th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships are as follows:

Georgia Godwin: All-Around 13th, Bars 32nd, Beam 16th, Floor 28th
Talia Folino: All-Around 41st, Bars 28th, Beam 63rd, Floor 105th 
Rianna Mizzen: All-Around 59th, Bars 58th, Beam 82nd, Floor 106th 

Please note that athletes only receive a ranking on Vault if they perform two Vaults in an effort to qualify for the Vault Apparatus Final.

For Australia’s Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG) team, their standings at the end of Qualifications were as follows:

Clay Stephens: Floor 70th, Vault 14th, Parallel Bars 63rd
Tyson Bull: Horizontal Bar 23rd
Michael Mercieca: Pommel Horse 65th, Parallel Bars 52nd, Horizontal Bar 30th
Chris Remkes: Floor 62nd, Pommel Horse 117th, Vault 26th 
Mitchell Morgans: Parallel Bars 113th, Horizontal Bar 33rd

Due to an injury to Mike Mercieca in camp in the lead up to the World Championships, this prevented him from being able to train all apparatus, and hence he had to withdraw as Australia’s sole representative in the Men’s All-Around competition.

Unfortunately Australia’s top-ranked MAG athlete across any apparatus at this World Championships – Clay Stephens, who finished 14th on Vault – fell on his final tumbling line of his final routine (Floor) during competition, and had to be carried from the floor by medical staff.  Scans the following morning revealed that he has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, and will be out of action for 6 to 12 months.

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