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France's Celia Serber: 'To Bring Freshness To The Team'
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First-year senior Celia Serber of France told IG she hopes her performance at next month’s American Cup in Greensboro, North Carolina, will be a clean, safe learning experience.

“The American Cup is a great competition that I watch each year,” said Serber, the 2017 and 2018 French junior national all-around champion. “It will be my premier competition for 2019 and a return to competition after missing the end of the 2018 season due to injury. My objective is to perform cleanly and safely. I have a lot to learn from this competition. I will gain experience and take pleasure performing at this level.”

Serber enters 2019 with impressive junior international credentials, including a first-place all-around finish at the 2016 Top Gym juniors meet in Belgium, a sixth-place all-around finish at the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary, and a third-place all-around finish in the junior division at the 2018 City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy.

Born August 13, 2003, she trains under coaches Martine George, Dimitru (Nellu) Pop and Cedric Guille at l’Institut national du sport, de l'expertise et de la performance (INSEP) in Paris.

George, who hails from Australia, previously coached 2010 world floor exercise champion and two-time Australian Olympian Lauren Mitchell. Pop coached 1995 world floor exercise bronze medalist and 2000 European floor exercise champion Ludivine Furnon of France. Guille competed for the French team for 10 years.

“In general Martine works on the beam and artistic preparation, Cedric on bars, and Nellu on vault and floor, although the coaches all work together very closely as a team,” Serber said. “I am also lucky to have great teammates and training partners, including Coline Devillard and Marine Boyer.”

Serber, who trained at the Espoir Pole in Dijon before moving to INSEP, said she is eager to prove herself in the senior ranks this year, including at the World Championships in Stuttgart in October.

“It is an exciting time for me,” she said. “Now as a senior I hope to get into the French senior squad and be a part of the French team in Stuttgart.”

Although the French team already includes several established senior gymnasts, Serber said she is confident she can break into the ranks and offer her own assets to it.

“The team has a lot of great gymnasts, older and more experienced than I, and at the moment France has good depth,” she told IG. “I think it will be a real fight to earn a position for Stuttgart, but I am an all-around gymnast and strong on vault, which I believe is important for the team. I also hope I can bring freshness to the team.”

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