After a selection camp held over the past week, Gymnastics Australia has named their team set to compete at the final Olympic qualifier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next month.
Two members from last year’s 14th-place world championships team will take part, the 2012 Olympians Emily Little and Larrissa Miller. The team will also feature 2014 worlds team members Georgia-Rose Brown and Emma Nedov, 2015 Australian bars champion Rianna Mizzen, and first-year senior Emily Whitehead, last year’s junior national champion. Alex Eade and Kiara Munteanu are the non-traveling reserves.
The team is without Olympians Lauren Mitchell and Mary-Anne Monckton, both of whom were at the camp. Mitchell is just returning to beam and floor after being away due to injury since last year while Monckton has been a key member of the squad in both 2014 and 2015 and was actually initially selected to represent in Rio but was sadly forced to withdraw due to an ACL tear.
National team coordinator Peggy Liddick reportedly “takes the potentially highest-scoring team possible,” plugging the numbers into the computer and selecting those who create the largest team final score. The newbies Mizzen and Whitehead happened to fit into this puzzle after earning big scores in addition to looking calm and confident with their big difficulty. Mizzen seems an especially good choice after adding a stunning floor routine to her arsenal, which also includes a fabulous bar set, both of which should help the team a great deal in their quest.
The team will first travel to the United States for the Pacific Rim Championships in Everett, Washington before going on to Rio for the test event a week later where they must finish in the top four if they want to send a full team to the Olympic Games in August.
Article by Lauren Hopkins