Five Beijing Olympians in Contention for Aussie Squad
(12 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

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

GymnastDate of BirthCoachesClub
Georgia BonoraMay 19, 1990John Hart and Shaoyi JiangWaverley Gymnastics Centre
Ashleigh BrennanJan. 18, 1991Tracey Penaluna and Misha BarabachVictorian Women's High Performance Centre
Georgia-Rose BrownJan. 22, 1995Tracey Penaluna and Misha BarabachVictorian High Performance Centre
Angela DonaldDec. 4, 1995John Hart and Shaoyi JiangWaverley Gymnastics Centre
Daria JouraFeb. 5, 1990Vladimir and Irina JouraQueensland Academy of Sport
Emily LittleMarch 29, 1994Martine George and Nikolai LapchineWestern Australia Institute of Sport
Larrissa MillerJuly 12, 1992Vladimir and Irina JouraMackay Gymnastics Club
Lauren MitchellJuly 23, 1991Martine George and Nikolai LapchineWestern Australia Institute of Sport
Mary-Ann MoncktonNov. 16, 1994Misha Barabach and Tracey PenalunaVictorian Women's High Performance Centre
Chloe SimsAug. 25, 1990Vladimir and Irina JouraQueensland Academy of Sport
Olivia VivianJuly 13, 1989Martine George and Nikolai LapchineWestern Australia Institute of Sport
Georgia WheelerOct. 8, 1994Tracey Penaluna and Misha BarabachVictorian Women's High Performance Centre
Comments (3)add comment

Rachel T said:

Medal for Lauren
I hope Lauren pulls out an Olympic medal this year! She is very innovative.
June 04, 2012
Votes: +4

yarden said:

Only Joshua Jefferis???
You mean Prashanth Sellathurai who has a good chance of medalling on pomemel horse isn't going to the Olympics???
June 05, 2012
Votes: +0

France said:

@yarden, unfortunately Australia didn't qualify a mens team. Because Prashanth Sellathurai isn't an all-arounder (he usually completes max 3 events at international competitions), his only chance of an Olympic birth was a top 3 finish in the Pommel Event Finals at the 2011 worlds. Bad luck that he fell which effectively ended his olympic campaign. Joshua Jefferis and Thomas Pichler were the only all-around gymnasts eligible for Olympic selection following the test event in London.
June 05, 2012
Votes: +2

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