Home Sport Caitlin and Naveen put SA gymnastics in the spotlight

Caitlin and Naveen put SA gymnastics in the spotlight

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“We are incredibly proud of our two gymnasts,” says Gymnastics South Africa president Donovan Jurgens.

Caitlin Rooskrantz

IT WAS a historic day for Gymnastics South Africa at the Tokyo Olympics as Caitlin Rooskrantz and Naveen Daries became the first pair to represent South Africa at the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) competition.

The last time a single female gymnast represented South Africa in the Women’s Artist competition was in 2004 when Zandré Labuschagne represented the country at the Athens Olympics.

“We are incredibly proud of our two gymnasts,” says Gymnastics South Africa president Donovan Jurgens.

Although their competition had effectively ended as they did not make it to the top 8 to advance to the next stage, Jurgens is confident that their appearance at the Games bodes well for gymnastics across the country.

Jurgens, who is also in charge of Gymnastics South Africa’s transformation and development programme, said the pair’s performance at the Tokyo Games bears testimony to the work put in ahead of their qualification for the Olympics.

Naveen Daries

“Considering the competition they were up against, they did extremely well. Not only one, but two very talented gymnasts represented us with class among the best of the best. We congratulate Caitlin and Naveen on their performances and look forward to welcoming them home soon.

“To reach the Olympics is every gymnast’s dream and to be able to assist them to get there, is every administrator’s desire.

“We hope their participation has sparked a flame that will see more young gymnastic talent step forward and realise their dreams. We now aim for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and to build on the success of the Tokyo Olympics.”

Daries, who has a visual impairment, was first up on the hardest apparatus, the balance beam, followed by three strong performances on floor, vault and uneven bars. Most notably she ended the day in 18th position and fourth in the Commonwealth on vault.

Rooskrantz put forward four strong routines following a recent ankle injury to finish as the best-placed gymnast in Africa and the best result of any SA WAG gymnast at the Olympics.

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