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Hayes wins all-around bronze

21 January 2007

Australia’s rising star of rhythmics, Chloe Hayes, won bronze in the all-around competition to cap off an outstanding gymnastics competition at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).

Hayes, 13, also won gold in the rhythmic team event on Thursday.

“Winning bronze in the all-around is the greatest surprise,” said the softly spoken three – times Australian all-around champion.

“It was something that I never expected but always hoped to achieve.”

Krasi Yurukova, Hayes’ coach said thirty hours of training a week has paid off.

“It’s about having a strong mind. For me it’s 99 per cent hard work and one per cent luck on the day.”

Following the AYOF, Hayes will compete in two international competitions in Europe, the home of rhythmic gymnastics.

“We want to put her in with the likes of Russia and Hungary,” said Yurkova. “She needs more international experience.”

Jiaqi Wu, and Peng Linyi, both 14 and from China, took gold and silver in the all-around respectively.

“The girls have performed well everyday of the festival, considering they are so young and this was their first international competition,” said Quiri Zhou, Secretary-General of the Chinese Gymnastics Association.

“They’ve learnt how to control themselves and are not so nervous.”

 There was less than a point separating Hayes from compatriots Danielle Prince and Keziah Oliver who finished fourth and fifth. Com

ing in at 9th and 11th were Zena Foale-Banks and Cody-Sue Turco, Australia’s other rhythmic finalists.

Jessica Mah

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