Sheppard: 'I'm Capable of Being Up There'
(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Preparing to compete for Hungary at next month's world championships, American-born gymnast Austin Sheppard told IG that her performance at the Ghent Challenger Cup last weekend provided her with perspective and confidence.

Austin Sheppard (Hungary)

"My performance was not my best," said Sheppard, who holds dual citizenship with Hungary and the U.S. "I fell a couple times on bars and beam, but I realized that I'm capable of being up there with the top-notch athletes in the world. If I would not have fallen, I would have been in the finals for all the events. But it was a good experience to get the nerves out and to see how much more work I need to do in training."

Sheppard qualified for the vault final in Ghent, but did not compete based on the decision of her coach, Yevgeny Indyukov.

"I was having a little trouble with my double (-twisting Yurchenko)," said Sheppard, who trains under at Golden Grip Gymnastics in Plano, Texas. "It wasn't as consistent as it should have been so my coach didn't want to risk anything for vault finals, because worlds are more important."

Sheppard said she is hopeful of competing at worlds, which will take place Oct. 7-16 in Tokyo, but the Hungarian team has not been finalized.

"Every day the national coach is watching us and evaluating who will be on the world team, so it could change any day," Sheppard told IG. "I will stay in Europe between now and Tokyo. I have a couple more competitions before world championships!"

Read "Dual Purpose," a profile on Sheppard, in the June 2011 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, click here.

Comments (1)add comment

Tunde-Lidia Beke said:

Tunde-Lidia Beke
I wish the best for Austin and for Hungary. It would be great to see them qualify for Olympics as a team, but almost 2-3 gymnasts.
September 09, 2011
Votes: +0

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