Eva Kierath Tells Her Story
Last month I was fortunate enough to travel to the Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in Tokyo, Japan with the generous support of Gymnastics WA. It was an amazing opportunity to represent Australia at a benchmark event. The tour included a week long preparation camp in Inashiki (just outside of Tokyo) and the World Championships Competition.
The Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships was the first competition held in the newly built Ariake Gymnastics Centre, the venue for gymnastics at the 2020 Olympic Games. The venue is incredible both inside and out, and being able to compete there was extraordinarily valuable as my goal is to be back there to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Earlier this year I sustained an incomplete stress fracture in my back and the World Championships served as my return to international competition. I was very happy to be back on the team after having to withdraw from two World Cups in September and October due to this injury. The experience of coming back from injury to compete was new to me as this is the first major injury I have sustained. With the team from Gymnastics WA and WAIS supporting me I was able to return to competition form in a short time frame.
In the training camp we had the chance to train in a competition arena which helps with getting used to a bigger venue, especially the roof being so far away when you are upside down! As a team we also experienced the Japanese culture visiting both a Buddhist Temple and Shinto Shrine where we received a good luck blessing for our competition. Our hosts in Inashiki were also very generous with a farewell dinner with live music from traditional instruments and dancing!
When we moved to Tokyo we trained and competed at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre. I was happy with how I transitioned from the trampolines in the warm up area to the competition hall as we practiced this over the days leading in to the competition. In the competition I performed my first routine well however it wasn’t as high as I had done in training (the time of flight of the routine is a component of our score in trampoline). When I went up for my second routine I had an interesting experience. I takeoff for my routine on my 9th or 10th bounce as this is when I am highest. The first time I started bouncing I was too far back from the centre of the trampoline on the 9th and 10th bounces so I stopped jumping to start again as per my plan. When I started jumping a second time I was very far sideways on the 7th jump and I hit the side mat. I then had to recollect myself in order to start again! At this point my legs were starting to fatigue, however the psychological preparation I had done in the time I was injured allowed me to regain my focus and complete the routine.
The scores I achieved in this competition were not what I had aimed for, or what I am capable of, however I am pleased with my performance coming back from significant injury. As I had a limited ability to do trampoline specific training and in the competition, I persevered and completed my routines. Throughout the lead up and competition at this World Championships, I had many new experiences and learnt a lot about my competition process that I can apply in the future. There is no way I would have been at the World Championships without the support of Gymnastics WA, the team at WAIS and my coaches. I would especially like to thank Gymnastics WA for assisting me with a High-Performance Grant in order to attend the Competition.
Keara Excels at World Championships
At the start of 2019 I had set a goal for myself to qualify and represent Australia at the Senior World Championships for Double Mini Trampoline in Tokyo, Japan. At this event I wanted to make a team final and earn Australia a place in the 2021 World Game championships.
The year started with Australian Championships and to hit the qualifying senior worlds score. This year was the hardest of the 7 nationals that I have attended because the difficulty of the passes being performed were much higher than previous years. This year’s nationals was a great experience and hitting the qualifying score as well as coming third was great preparation.
The second step towards getting to Tokyo was overcoming a stress fracture back injury. I had to take six weeks off of my training and focus on rehab, which was a big set-back in my preparation. With determination and two weeks to prepare I was ready to head off to National Club Championships on the Gold Coast. My performance was again up to the standard I had hoped for earning me a spot on the 2019 Australian Worlds Team.
As a senior athlete, I influence others in my gym particularly the young athletes in different disciplines. My ambition is to give as much support and knowledge to the younger athletes as possible. Either by sharing my experiences or giving training tips and advice I love being the person people can come talk to about anything including coaching, competing for Double Mini or Artistic Gymnastics.
Time for Tokyo !!! In the lead up to this competition, my coach Elliot Stratton and I started a routine that would help me mentally prepare for the competition. With this new mind set I feel I was more prepared for this year’s Snr world championships compared to last years. After the team’s week long training camp I felt more ready than ever to compete on the world stage with my AUSSIE team mates. The first day of competition included my individual performance where I came 13th in the world, and also qualifying the senior girls for the team final the next day where my mates and I finished 4th. I was chosen to compete in the big all around team final in which they pick 1 male and female athlete from each discipline to come together to create a fun new challenge for the countries who qualify. Australia made the final coming 5th. (For DMT I came 4th beating china. Wow)
As I continue my training towards the 2021 world games and various other world cups and indo-pacific championships, I look forward to the many other lessons and experiences that will help me grow in this amazing sport. The financial pressures to compete internationally are huge as gymnastics as you all know is mostly an individually funded sport. Gymnastics WA through a High Performance Grant has helped immensely. The costs involved in going to Senior World Championships were close to $8000 and through Gymnastics WA providing a grant and my many friends and family who raised $850 on go fund me or who donated in other ways, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I could not do this without the amazing support from my friends and family, team mates, club and coaches, my state and country. I hope people can see just how proud I am of myself and my team and my sport.
Jack Petrie Shares His Experiences
In November 2019, I had the pleasure of representing Australia at the 2019 Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in Tokyo with assistance from Gymnastics Western Australia.
Prior to the event, the team attended a training camp at Ishashiki accompanied by the Danish team. We were made to feel very welcome by our hosts and had the opportunity to experience some local culture and sightseeing.
DMT is a fickle sport and although my preparation and lead-up to the event was perfect, during the qualification round I hit the bungee cord and the pass was nullified. Although very disappointed with the result, I was buoyed by feedback from international competitors and am setting my sights on the next competition cycle with enthusiasm.