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Liddick: Fitness Big Factor for Oz World Squad
(9 votes, average 4.44 out of 5)

After some hit-and-miss performances at July's national championships, gymnasts hoping to make Australia's world team will be expected to show up in better shape at September's world trials, head coach Peggy Liddick told IG.

"We are looking for improvements in the fitness status of all the world's trialists," Liddick said. "This will be a major factor in the final selection."

World floor exercise champion Lauren Mitchell recaptured her national title July 15 in Perth, topping her closest competitor by nearly 8 points in the two-day contest. In finals she won every event except uneven bars, where Chloe Sims claimed gold.

Lauren Mitchell (Australia) at the 2010 Worlds

Though many of the gymnasts were not in world form, Liddick said she was impressed by several gutsy performances.

"The highlight of the competition, over the entire three days, would have to be an 85-percent healthy-and-fit Lauren Mitchell," Liddick said. "In Tokyo at the Japan Cup (July 2-3), Martine George (Lauren's personal coach) and I were still contemplating if Lauren would compete all apparatus or not. So for Lauren to come in to nationals and perform three all-around competitions was a step in the right directions for our worlds preparation."

Liddick also praised all-around bronze medalist Mary-Anne Monckton, who has been unlucky with injuries for much of her career. She rebounded in 2010 to take second at the Australian championships, before a ruptured ligament in her ankle forced her out of the Commonwealth Games and world championships.

"Mary-Anne is getting better each week, so that is a good indicator for her chances for the world team," Liddick said.

Several gymnasts unable to compete in Perth may still have a shot at the team for the world championships, Oct. 7-16 in Tokyo. 2008 Olympian Georgia Bonora, the 2010 national champion, missed the national championships after underwent ankle surgery in June.

"Georgia Bonora has had a history of ankle issues, so after Rotterdam, she had some bone spurs reoccur in her ankles," Liddick said. "She was given advice not to have any more 'clean out' surgery on them, but after six months of no improvement and seeking a second opinion, surgery was required after all. So, Georgia had some minor ankle surgery, but she is in full training and fully intends on attending the final worlds trial in September."

First-year senior Angela Donald, the bronze medalist on balance beam at the 2010 Youth Olympics, has an outside shot at the team to Tokyo.

"Angela Donald was preparing for her state championships the second week of June when the night before, in training, she caught her finger on an overshoot on bars, fracturing a bone in her hand," Liddick said. "Angela had to have a pin inserted to stabilize the bones while healing is taking place. It is expected to take 12 weeks to totally heal, so it is highly unlikely that she can regain her bars, but she is an outside chance for other apparatus for the worlds trial."

Georgia Simpson, Mitchell's training mate at the Western Australia Institute of Sport, dislocated her patella the week before nationals but was also invited to the camp.

Many of the senior squad debuted new floor routines in Perth that are designed to impress on the world stage. Notable choreographers including Lisa Bradley, Tatiana Lapchina, Adriana Pop and Stacey Umeh contributed to the special effort.

"With a major emphasis on this area and many more deductions taken for artistry, we have done basically an overhaul of the choreography that we will put out on the floor at worlds," Liddick said. "The music is grand, unique and beautiful. The choreography has been fantastic, better than I had anticipated. We are really looking forward to performing these floor routines at worlds."

External Link: Gymnastics Australia

Australian Senior Women's Team - 2011-2012

Georgie Bonora
Ashleigh Brennan
Georgia Rose Brown
Sophie Budack
Nikola Chung
Shar-Lee Clark
Angela Donald
Tierra Exum
Britt Greeley
Laura Hingston
Natalia Joura
Amaya King Koi
Emily Little
Zoe Lorenzin
Amelia McGrath
Larrissa Miller
Lauren Mitchell
Mary-Anne Monckton
Clare O'Donnell
Svetlana Sanders
Georgia Simpson
Chloe Sims
Georgia Wheeler
Katie Wurth
Crystal Yeo

Comments (3)add comment

Alison Clements said:

Well my prediction is that Lauren Mitchell won't medal in Tokyo with her new floor routine. The music doesn't suit her or engage the audience and consequently it lacks the 'wow' factor that a medal-worthy routine needs to have.
August 02, 2011
Votes: +0

Peta Tait said:

She is so talented and gorgeous. Let her show that without being critical. Good luck
August 12, 2011
Votes: +0

Chenoa Elkington said:

I just want to know approximately how many hours do you train each week?
I am a Gymnast at Blackert Gymnastics Academy in Newcastle NSW. I am in IDP 3 and i am 8 years old. I train 20 hours per week. I would love to know how many hours you train?
Chenoa Elkington.smilies/smiley.gif
August 25, 2011
Votes: +0

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