Five 2008 Olympians are among the 12 gymnasts invited to the Australian women's pre-Olympic training camp next week in Canberra, where the final squad to London will be determined.
The Australian Gymnastics Federation announced the invitees Monday (Tuesday in Australia), approved following the recent national championships in Sydney. The nationals were the first part of the Olympic trials process, which conclude with the training camp and secondary trials, June 11-17 at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. The Australian women qualified a full five-member team to this summer's Olympic Games in London.
Lauren Mitchell (Australia)
Lauren Mitchell, Australia's most successful gymnast in history, headlines the list of invitees, which includes her 2008 Olympic teammates Georgia Bonora, Ashleigh Brennan, Daria Joura and Olivia Vivian.
Bonora and Brennan have competed consistently since Beijing, with Bonora winning the national championships in 2010 and Brennan taking the title in 2012. Joura and Vivian are unexpected additions to the list, however. Joura suffered a serious ankle injury in Beijing and retired after, while Vivian moved to the U.S. to attend Oregon State University. Joura told IG she resumed training in January simply for fitness, and a renewed love for the sport brought her back to competition on vault and floor exercise. Vivian, after wrapping up four years of NCAA competition, competed uneven bars and balance beam in Sydney.
Australian head coach Peggy Liddick told IG on Monday that she was pleased by the consistency on hand at the Australian championships in Sydney.
"There were really no surprises at nationals," she said. "I have seen the girls regularly at training camps, so I had a pretty good idea of what each gymnast would bring. I would have to say the highlight was having a strong showing against Japan in the friendly and the consistency of all the trialists."
Liddick said her goal is for the Aussie women to match their finish from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where the team qualified for the final and placed sixth. Mitchell, the 2010 world champion on floor exercise, is Australia's best chance for an individual medal.
Injuries remain a concern for the squad, Liddick said. Mitchell, the 2011 champion, skipped uneven bars in Sydney to avoid aggravating a sore shoulder. Georgia Simpson suffered a dislocated ankle at the Pacific Rim Championships in March and was unable to compete in Sydney.
In addition, Nikki Chung suffered a torn ACL on vault in Sydney, while Zoe Lorenzin, eighth in Sydney, was forced out of the selection due to a stress fracture of the foot.
"I really am disappointed for these two that they will not have an opportunity to attend the second trial, but this does open the door for two more athletes to take advantage of their chance at the second trial," Liddick said.
On Saturday, national champion Joshua Jefferis was confirmed as Australia's sole male representative to the London Olympics.
"I can't wait to fly the green and gold in front of the world and promote gymnastics which I've devoted my life to," Jefferis said.
External Link: Australian Gymnastics Federation
2012 Australian Women's Olympic Secondary Trials
June 11-17, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra
|Gymnast||Date of Birth||Coaches||Club
|Georgia Bonora||May 19, 1990||John Hart and Shaoyi Jiang||Waverley Gymnastics Centre|
|Ashleigh Brennan||Jan. 18, 1991||Tracey Penaluna and Misha Barabach||Victorian Women's High Performance Centre|
|Georgia-Rose Brown||Jan. 22, 1995||Tracey Penaluna and Misha Barabach||Victorian High Performance Centre|
|Angela Donald||Dec. 4, 1995||John Hart and Shaoyi Jiang||Waverley Gymnastics Centre|
|Daria Joura||Feb. 5, 1990||Vladimir and Irina Joura||Queensland Academy of Sport|
|Emily Little||March 29, 1994||Martine George and Nikolai Lapchine||Western Australia Institute of Sport|
|Larrissa Miller||July 12, 1992||Vladimir and Irina Joura||Mackay Gymnastics Club|
|Lauren Mitchell||July 23, 1991||Martine George and Nikolai Lapchine||Western Australia Institute of Sport|
|Mary-Ann Monckton||Nov. 16, 1994||Misha Barabach and Tracey Penaluna||Victorian Women's High Performance Centre|
|Chloe Sims||Aug. 25, 1990||Vladimir and Irina Joura||Queensland Academy of Sport|
|Olivia Vivian||July 13, 1989||Martine George and Nikolai Lapchine||Western Australia Institute of Sport|
|Georgia Wheeler||Oct. 8, 1994||Tracey Penaluna and Misha Barabach||Victorian Women's High Performance Centre|