Young Aussie Gymnasts secure 4 quota positions at 2018 Youth Olympic Games




Australia has secured four of the five gymnastics quota spots allocated to the Oceania region for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) – taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October – via the Oceania Continental Championships, which was held during the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships.

The National Championships doubled as the quota spot selection trial for the YOG, with the best age-eligible athletes from both Australian and New Zealand in Men’s Artistic, Women’s Artistic, Rhythmic and Trampoline gymnastics vying for qualification.

Gymnasts competed in both competitions - the Australian and Oceanbia Championships simultaneously - with routines only being performed once, but separate judging panels scores' deciding results in both competitions.

While Australia won the lions-share of YOG qualifications, New Zealand’s Sam Dick did manage to claim the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics spot, with a dominant performance in Level 9 Under 17 All-Around, top scoring on four of the six apparatus. Dick finished ahead of the best placed Aussie, New South Welshman Jack Hall, who was second overall.

In Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics, Queensland’s Kate Sayer took the spot for Australia in Junior International All-Around, well ahead of New Zealand’s only competitor, Josephine Chao, who finished 24th overall.

Lidiia Iakovleva made sure Australia won the single spot available for Rhythmic Gymnastics, as the Queenslander put together stunning routines with all apparatus, to convincingly claim the All-Around title. The highest finishing Kiwi, Hannah Moore, ended up in fourth place off the back of a consistent competition; second out of the age-eligible athletes.

The last two YOG spots were available for Junior International Trampoline – one for each gender – with New South Wales pair Liam Christie and Jessica Pickering winning each spot for Australia. It wasn’t easy though as gymnasts from New Zealand were nipping at the heels of the Aussies through-out, with Kiwi’s Reegan Laidlaw placing third in Men’s and Amelia Greet finishing just of the podium in fourth in the Women's event.

Now that the YOG positions have been decided, it is up to each nation to choose which athlete eventually fills those spots at the Games. The way the selection process is conducted is left up to that given nation, meaning that the athlete that won the position may not necessarily take part in the Games.

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be held from October 6-18, featuring 32 sports, including all four Olympic Gymsports, plus four debut sports in Break-Dancing, Sport Climbing, Karate and Roller Speed Skating.

Results

Men’s Artistic – New Zealand via Sam Dick NZL

Women’s Artistic – Australia via Kate Sayer QLD

Rhythmic – Australia via Lidiia Iakovleva QLD

Men’s Trampoline – Australia via Liam Christie NSW

Women’s Trampoline – Australia via Jessica Pickering NSW