After the weekend’s African Gymnastics championships which was held at the Indoor Sports Centre of the University of Pretoria and was sponsored by Algrodex, several gymnasts are hopeful that they will be included in the 2014 Commonwelath Games team which takes place in Glasgow in July as well as the team for the Youth Olympics which takes place a month later in Nanjing, China. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (Sascoc) criteria for qualification is to be ranked fifth in the Commonwealth. There is, however, no Commonwealth qualifying event and the gymnasts scores can merely be compared with scores of other Commonwealth gymnasts at events such as the World championships.
Kirsten Beckett and Claudia Cummins did not only finished in the top five in the Commonwealth at the 2013 World championships, but are both medal contenders on vault. Beckett recently won the African all round title and Cummins scored a brilliant 13,85 on vault. Tiaan Grobler finished in the top five in the Commonwealth at the 2013 World championships, but finished 11th at the recent African championships in Pretoria.
Grace Legote is South Africa’s top rhythmic gymnast and Aimee van Rooyen could also be selected for Glasgow. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has two spots for gymnasts from Africa for the Youth Olympics (only one per country per discipline) and Mammule Rankoe, Mohammad Khaalia Mia (both artistic and both won silver at the Junior African championships) and Shannon Gordiner (rhythmic), could be the gymnastics representatives in 2014 Team South Africa. SAGF’s new COO Tseko Mogotsi did not respond when asked for comment.
Photo: Mammule Rankoe, South Africa’s top junior women’s gymnast
Photo credit: Saspa