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Joura Leads Oz Olympic Squad
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Dasha Joura

Three-time national champion Dasha Joura leads the roster of nine women named Sunday to the Australian training squad for this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing.

By virtue of their one-two finish at the Australian Championships that concluded Sunday in Melbourne, Joura and Shona Morgan received automatic selection onto the team.

Other members of the Olympic training squad are Georgia Bonora, Ashleigh Brennan, Emma Dennis, Amber Fulljames, Melanie Jones, Lauren Mitchell and Olivia Vivian.

Joura, Morgan, Brennan and Mitchell were members of the Australian team that placed 11th at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, which served as the qualifying competition for the Olympics in Beijing. The top 12 teams in Stuttgart earned full team berths for Beijing.

Joura, Bonora and Vivian were members of the sixth-place Australian team at the 2006 Worlds in Aarhus, Denmark. Vivian also competed at the 2005 Worlds in Melbourne, where no team competition took place.

"I've only selected those who are ready and have Olympic-level programs, but we have nine who really deserve the opportunity to show me what they can do over the next month," said national team coach Peggy Liddick.

All nine gymnasts will attend a training camp June 22-29 at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Following a final selection trial on June 28-29, the final Olympic nominations will be announced by Gymnastics Australia on June 30. The Olympic team of six gymnasts and two reserves will remain at the AIS for a training camp until departing for Beijing on Aug. 1.

"They're not making my job easy, which is a good position to be in," Liddick said.

IG Magazine Related Features
"The Joy of Joura" - profile (March 2007)
Joura on cover (July/August 2006)
Interview: Lauren Mitchell (March 2008)
"National Pride" - Dennis profile (September 2007)

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