Ramos Ramps Up For Antwerp Worlds
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Veteran Puerto Rican gymnast Angel Ramos told IG that winning the silver medal on high bar at the World Cup of Anadia, Portugal, in June has put him in prime position to make at least one final at this fall's world championships in Antwerp.

Veteran Puerto Rican gymnast Angel Ramos told IG that winning the silver medal on high bar at the Anadia World Challenge Cup of in June has put him in prime position to make at least one final at this fall's world championships in Antwerp.

"My good job in Portugal gave me a lot of confidence in my routines, specifically on high bar, a new routine with a higher Start Value," said Ramos, whose score of 14.600 placed him second to U.S. gymnast Sam Mikulak in Anadia. "Training for this year's world championships is going to be very hard because I am looking forward to being in my first all-around final or high bar final."

Ramos, who finished 51st all-around at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam and 39th all-around at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo, said the consistency and improvement he showed over the previous two Worlds should help him in his quest to make the 24-gymnast all-around final in Antwerp.

"I think that, if I put together all the routines where I won medals in past tournaments, I will have a good chance," Ramos said. "I have to do every single routine without a mistake. Those other years I had very clean and good routines with high Start Values. Now I need to have the same enthusiasm and trust in myself that I can achieve my best scores to be in the top 24."

Ramos, who will turn 26 on Aug. 10, said bad luck hurt the Puerto Rican team's chances to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Puerto Rico placed 12th at the 2010 Worlds, and 14th at the 2011 Worlds.

The top eight teams in Tokyo, plus the top four teams at the Olympic test event held in London in January 2012, qualified for the London Games. Puerto Rico finished seventh at the test event.

"In 2010 the objective as a team was to place 12th and show the world that we could be in the Olympics as a team," said Ramos, who placed eighth in the floor exercise final at the test event. "Unfortunately, in the Olympic test competition, one of our best gymnasts, (2004 Olympian) Luis Vargas, got hurt and couldn't compete. So we had to compete with a new gymnast and it was different. The team made a lot of errors and that is why we didn't qualify."

Ramos, who won the bronze medal on floor exercise at the 2012 Challenge Cup of Ghent, said Puerto Rico is determined to compensate for its London fate by making it to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"For Rio we hope that we can qualify as a team for the first time, with a new, young and talented team," said Ramos, who trains in San Juan under coaches Jose Colon and Juan Carlos Colon.

Ramos said his seasoned performances could help him reach new personal heights in Antwerp.

"Being a veteran and having all the experience of competing in finals at World Cups with Olympics athletes gave me a lot of strength to compete," he told IG. "My personal goals are to qualify for the all-around, floor or high bar final, for the first time in my life at a world championship."

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
"Sam I Am" – Sam Mikulak cover photo and interview (July/August 2013)
"Beyond Boundaries" - Luis Vargas profile (May 2004)

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