Aussie Women Take Aim at World Team Final
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Heading into Wednesday's team final at the world championships in Rotterdam, Australian star Lauren Mitchell told IG that her team is focused and primed to perform at its best.


Australia's Lauren Mitchell during podium training in Rotterdam.

"This team is a very tight-knit team, and we are all looking forward to competing," she said. "We are all confident and ready to show everyone what Australia is made of."

Australia qualified sixth to the eight-team final, an improvement of five positions from its ranking at the 2007 Worlds in Stuttgart. The team won the bronze at the 2003 Worlds.

Mitchell said Australia's domination at the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi earlier this month contributed to the team's confidence in Rotterdam.

"My main focus has always been the competition in Rotterdam, as we had to qualify a team for next year's world championships," said Mitchell, who won four gold medals in Delhi. "Commonwealth Games was just like verification for us, on a podium, which actually made the transition to Rotterdam easier, as we were more used to competing on a podium when we came to Rotterdam."

After Delhi, Mitchell said, Australian team head coach Peggy Liddick paid particular attention to balance beam, which was the team's lowest-scoring event in Delhi. Balance beam was the Australian team's highest-scoring event in qualifications in Rotterdam.

"Peggy has been coaching us differently on beam, making sure that we are all mentally prepared for the competition," Mitchell told IG. "Physically we are all 100 percent ready. We just needed to focus on our mental skills a bit more. I think that just competing on the podium in Delhi helped us immensely prepare mentally for this competition."

Following the team final, Mitchell will compete in Friday's all-around final (for which she qualified seventh), and this weekend's individual apparatus finals on balance beam and floor exercise. She said she intends to perform with customary concentration.

"My strategy is just to go in and compete my routines like I have been training them every day," she said.

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