Käslin in 'Race Against Time' for Worlds
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Despite a virus that kept her from performing top difficulty in last weekend's Ghent World Cup, 2009 world vault silver medalist Ariella Käslin told IG she should be ready to challenge for medals at next month's world championships in Rotterdam.

Ariella Käslin (Switzerland)

"It is the absolutely first priority to build up my competition form," said Käslin, who finished seventh on vault and eighth on uneven bars in Ghent. "I am doing this with my coach. During this time I am also being examined over and over again medically. It is becoming a race against time, but I am confident and am trying everything so I will do it in Rotterdam."

Käslin said her recent training has been hampered by an illness that has reduced her strength and disrupted her preparations for Rotterdam.

"I had not done gymnastics at a high level," said Käslin, the 2009 European vault champion and all-around bronze medalist. "In Ghent I simply needed competition experience again. Several weeks ago I fell ill with a virus. Therefore I was often very tired and could not build up my condition, as well as do the planned preparation for the world championships. That's why it was still not sensible for me to do high-difficulty gymnastics (in Ghent). The danger of injury would be too big."  

In Ghent, Käslin performed a piked barani (handspring, piked front somersault with half twist) as her first vault and a full-twisting Yurchenko as her second vault. She won the silver medal on vault at the 2009 World Championships in London, where she performed a rudi (handspring, front somersault with 1 1/2 twists) as her first vault and a 1 1/2-twisting Yurchenko as her second vault.  

Käslin said adjusting to her new schedule has kept her 2010 competition season relatively light. Among her best results, she placed fifth on vault at this spring's European Championships in Birmingham.

"2009 was for me a successful but also exerting year," said Käslin, the 2008 and 2009 Swiss Sportswoman of the Year. "The media presence was big, and sponsorships also arose from it. I put my studies on ice, and my whole daily structure changed. I had to find my 'touch' again, and this cost me a lot of energy."

Despite Käslin's recent illness, she is confident about her prospects in Rotterdam, which will serve as the first step toward individual and team qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"If I am fully healthy again, I will show my vaults at a high level," she told IG. "However, health is important to me, and I will risk nothing. The team competition is important to me. I will give everything so that we can achieve a really good result as a team."  

Ariella Käslin is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine
December 2009: 2009 World Championships special issue
May 2009: 2009 European Championships coverage
December 2008: "Swiss Hit" (Käslin profile)
January/February 2007: "Swiss Thrill-seeker" (short Käslin profile)

To order back issues of subscribe to IG Magazine, click here.  

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