World champion Lauren Mitchell and two of her 2008 Olympic teammates will be back this summer representing Australia at the Olympic Games, the Australian Gymnastics Federation announced Thursday.
Two-time Olympian Lauren Mitchell (Australia)
Mitchell headlines the five-member Australian Olympic squad along with 2008 Olympians Georgia Bonora and Ashleigh Brennan, Emily Little and Larrissa Miller. Georgia-Rose Brown and Mary-Anne Monckton will travel with the team as alternates.
"It's really exciting to have the opportunity to compete at my second Olympic Games and I'm thrilled to be heading to London with the team," said Mitchell, who turns 21 on July 23.
The team was revealed after an Olympic training camp and trials that ended Sunday in Canberra, where 12 gymnasts had been in contention for the five spots.
Mitchell, Australia's most titled gymnast in history, was all but guaranteed a spot on the team. Brennan, who won the Australian championships in May, was also considered a lock along with national runner-up Little.
2008 Olympians Daria Joura and Olivia Vivian also had advanced to the trials in Canberra. Both have been absent from international competition since Beijing. Joura had retired after a serious ankle injury, while Vivian competed four seasons for Oregon State University.
Sixth in 2008, the Australian women qualified a full team again in 2012. Mitchell is a strong medal contender in London, where she could be the first Australian gymnast to grace an Olympic podium. She won silver medals on balance beam and floor exercise at the 2009 Worlds in London, and made history with the gold medal on floor at the 2010 Worlds in Rotterdam.
"There are high expectations but at the end of the day I need to go in (to competition) and do what I do every single day in training," Mitchell told Australian television.
National champion Joshua Jefferis, the 2006 Commonwealth Games champion, secured the only 2012 Olympic berth for the Australian men.
"My goal for the Olympic Games is to qualify for all-around finals and compete well on rings and parallel bars to give myself the best possible chance of qualifying for those particular apparatus finals," Jefferis told IG on Tuesday.
Read "Why I Came Back," a first-person narrative on Joura's comeback, in the July/August issue of International Gymnast Magazine.
External Link: Australian Gymnastics Federation