Siblings take the country by storm.
Two local gymnasts, Abri van Tonder (10) and Karlin van Tonder are making waves in South African gymnastics.
Abri, an artistic gymnast at Kimberley Gymnastics Club and his sister Karlin, a Northern Cape High School pupil and Rhythmia Gymnastics Club member have been gymnasts for three- and nine years respectively.
Abri, who attained a level three grade for the 2018 season, has won gold medals at national championships over the past two years. He was also recently named Kimberley Gymnastics Club’s best boy Tumbling Gymnast for 2017 as well as the best Under-9/10 level 2 artistic gymnast.
Karlin, who will participate as a senior Olympic gymnast next year, won an overall second place in the junior Olympic division at the South African Championships, winning two bronze and one silver medal for individual apparatus.
She also won the South African Gymnastics Federation’s Junior Olympic Circuit Championship trophy for 2017. In 2017 Karlin participated in the 6th International Stellenbosch Invitation competition at Coetzenburg where she competed against contestants from Japan, United Arab Emirates, Namibia and Gibraltar. Karlin won overall first place in the tournament.
Two days later she took part in the Stellenbosch Circuit Competition and also won an overall gold medal.
Abri hopes to follow in his sister’s footsteps and one day represent South Africa at the African Championships and the Junior Commonwealth Games which she did in 2016.
Karlin, in turn, will take part in trials to compete at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 in Australia. She will also represent South Africa at various international competitions later this year, the first of which will be in Poland in early April 2018.
According to their mother, Tharina, they are hoping that the children’s excellent achievements will interest sponsors in the near future as their attainments are putting a huge financial strain on the family.