AUSTRALIAN WOMEN AIMING FOR TOKYO TEAM SPOT



With Tokyo 2020 on everyone’s minds, the 49th edition of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany is the significant opportunity for Australia’s elite female gymnasts to secure Olympic qualification. 

The Australian Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team touched down in Europe in the final week of September for their pre-competition training camp, held at the impressive TZ Furstenland Frauen facility in Switzerland.

Having travelled from the World Championship selection trials on the Gold Coast, to Canberra and then on to training camp in Switzerland in just a matter of weeks, Georgia Godwin said the experience at the centre in Wil was invaluable to the team as they prepare to face the best in the world.

“The Switzerland training camp was amazing,” Godwin said. 

“The hosts were incredibly accommodating, and the gym was great. The training sessions were intense, but they have helped build my confidence.”

Arriving into Stuttgart a few days ahead of competition commencing, the athletes were given a glimpse at the Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle, home to the competition floor for the 10-day event. 

“(Podium) Training has been going well. The team has gone from strength to strength and we’re going to give it our best on Friday morning.” said Godwin who is returning to international competition after an injury-plagued last 12 months.

Godwin, along with team-mates Emma Nedov, Georgia-Rose Brown, Kate McDonald and Talia Folino are set to take to the floor on the first day of competition on October 4 at 5pm AEST with Kate Sayer the team’s reserve. 

Led by experienced head coach Mihai Brestyan, the Australian WAG National Squad has seen plenty of change in the last four years, with Tokyo 2020 a firm focus for both the athletes and the federation.

Having narrowly missed out on qualification for Rio in the last Olympic cycle, a new High-Performance Plan was put in place by Gymnastics Australia with the aim of developing athletes for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

National Performance Director Andrew Logan said that the strategic partnerships and developments made to the high-performance program over the last four years were key to Australia being in such a strong position heading into World Championships.

“We have had a busy build up to the World Championships but everything has run to plan since the team arrived in Switzerland a week ago,” Logan said. 

“Our training camp there was ideal preparation for this event and it has made for an easy transition to the podium here in Stuttgart. Obviously our primary aim is to qualify the team for Tokyo 2020. The competition is very tough and it will be tight but we are here and ready to go.”

Headlined by World and Olympic Champion, American Simone Biles, Belgium’s Nina Derwael and German Emelie Petz, the Australians will have some tough competition ahead of them, as they aim to finish in the top 12 teams to earn an Olympic quota spot. 

Tune in and watch all the finals action from the 49th edition of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships LIVE on FOX SPORTS commencing October 8. Check your local guide for full details.