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Slovakia's Mokošová Training Toward Rio 'On a Very Intense Level'
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Slovakian gymnast Barbora Mokošová told IG that, after earning a berth to this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro through her performance at last month’s Olympic test event, she is training fervently toward the Games.

“It was amazing, and I could not believe that I was able to fulfill my dream and qualify for the Olympic Games,” said Mokošová, who is now focusing on next month’s European Championships in Bern, Switzerland. “I am taking every single competition very seriously, and my preparation for each is the same and on a very intense level.”

Mokošová, who turned 19 on March 10, has been a mainstay for Slovakia during the current Olympic quadrennium. She placed 39th all-around in qualifications (50.999) at the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, 81st all-around in qualifications (50.465) at the 2014 Worlds in Nanning, and 90th all-around in qualifications (50.724) at the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow.

At the Olympic test event last month, Mokošová scored 52.532 to finished 43rd all-around, counting a fall on balance beam.

Among Mokošová's best results are a sixth place on uneven bars at the 2014 Challenge Cup of Ljubljana, fifth on uneven bars at the 2015 Challenge Cup of Osijek, 17th all-around at the 2015 European Championships in Montpellier, France, and 18th all-around at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Mokošová, who was named Slovakia’s Female Gymnast of the Year in 2014 and 2015, said she wants to boost the scoring potential of her 2016 program for an optimal performance at the Rio Games.

“I would like to finish the routines that I am working on currently, to get them to a higher level and ensure myself higher start values,” said Mokošová, who trains under coaches Martin Zvalo and Nadežda Miklošová at the club Slavia UK Bratislava. “I would like to work on vault and try to get into the vault final, and I would like to get to the all-around final.”

Mokošová said she hopes her performance in Rio will help rejuvenate women’s gymnastics in Slovakia. Two-time Olympian Zuzana Sekerova’s 47th-place all-around finish at the 2004 Athens Games is the Slovakian women’s top recent Olympic finish.

“I will absolutely try to do my best to represent my country on a very high level and hopefully make this sport more popular,” Mokošová told IG. “In the past years we are lacking in young and prospective athletes, which is a very sad thing, because gymnastics used to be very popular in Slovakia. I hope for this trend to return.”

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