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Gymnasts aim for top routines on Road to Rio

Brown and Monckton at the AIS
Georgia-Rose Brown and Mary-Anne Monckton are good friends and teammates.

21 Oct 2015

Hitting great routines is the only aim of the Australian women’s team competing at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 23 to November 1.

A top-eight finish will guarantee a ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the team of Georgia-Rose Brown, Georgia Godwin, Madelaine Leydin, Larrissa Miller, Mary-Anne Monckton, Kiara Munteanu and Emily Little.

“The only thing we can control, which is our number one focus, is their performance routines,” said coach Peggy Liddick as the team prepared for the championships with trials and a camp at the AIS in early October. “So every day we work on their performance. If we perform, then the results take care of themselves.

“At this World Championships we need to finish in the top 16 to move onto the next stage and there’s two stages.

“The top eight moves straight to Rio. Nine to 16 go to Rio to the test event in April, must finish in the top four for that group and then they get their ticket to Rio.”

Friends and teammates Monckton and Brown, who want to continue the tradition of Australian women’s teams qualifying for every Olympics since 1992, are also aware a team-focused approach will qualify the team for Rio. 

“It’s a subjective sport,” Monckton said. “You can never control the judging. So if we just go out and hit our routines like we’ve been training here then we should be in good stead.

“To be honest, I don’t really think about Rio too much just because before London I focused so much on it and I just lost sight of my processes and the way I was going to make that team.

“So now, I’m just focusing on every day in the gym on what I can do to help this team.”

Brown, who was a reserve for the London 2010 Olympic Games, is also keeping her focus on short-term goals, but hopes to continue competing until the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Everyone has individual goals but our main goal is as a team is to get the best performance we can,” said Brown, who at 173cm is touted as the tallest elite gymnast in the world.

“I just missed out on London, so since then I’ve just been taking it a year at a time, see what happens. I think (the) 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast since it’s my hometown I’d really like to stay on for that.”

Monckton said the three-week AIS camp allowed athletes to focus solely on their performances.

“The benefit of coming to the AIS for camp is that it just eliminates all of the distractions we have at home,” she said.

“At home you have to travel to places and it takes a lot of time and energy, and at home a lot of us study or work, so we can come here and the girls can just get tutored. We can just relax in our rooms in-between sessions and everything is so close so it’s just a 30 second walk away instead of a half hour trip away so it just makes it really easy and convenient.”

Liddick said Olympian, 2010 floor World Champion and the 2009 World Championships silver medallist on the beam and floor, Lauren Mitchell, was progressing well since undergoing knee surgery and would be a “strong chance” of making the team for Rio.

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