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Joura: 'Onward and Upward' for Australian Women's Team
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Third all-around at the recent Pacific Rim Championships, Australian champion Dasha Joura said she is ready to "work, work, work" toward her goal of the Olympic Games this August in Beijing.

Dasha Joura

"That's the motto for this year," Joura said. "Get our difficulty back up, get our fitness back up and get ready for Olympic Trials that are coming up in May."

The Russian-born Joura finished 10th all-around at the 2007 Worlds, where Australia finished 11th as a team. She won the all-around silver medal at the Good Luck Beijing International Tournament, the Olympic test event held in December.

At the Pacific Rim Championships last weekend in San Jose, Calif., Joura won the all-around bronze medal and the silver medal on floor exercise. Australia finished fourth in the team competition, four tenths of a point away from the bronze.

"All the focus was on the team. The individual aspect was kind of insignificant for us," she said. "Unfortunately we didn't get the result we desired. We went out there with the intention of competing solid routines, so that didn't mean they were our hardest routines we could put out there."

Joura, who suffered a dislocated finger earlier in March, left out some of her harder tricks in San Jose, including a double-twisting Yurchenko vault and a new double layout on floor exercise.

"It's really important to keep safe, especially this year with everything that's coming up," said Joura, who turns 18 May 2. "We're just being a little bit careful."

In San Jose she competed alongside senior teammates Ashleigh Brennan and Lauren Mitchell and juniors Britt Greeley, 14, and Emily Little.

"I'm really happy with the atmosphere of our team right now and the way we worked together. That was really a highlight," Joura said. "I'm really proud of them and when I see them out there I see great potential, and I'm really happy to have them with us. I think it's onwards and upwards for us."

The 2010 Pacific Rim Championships will be in Melbourne.

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