Pinnacle reached for Prince

20 August 2016

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Brisbane’s Danielle Prince will celebrate an Olympic debut that was 14 years in the making with a block of chocolate, after doing the Commonwealth proud in the qualifying rounds today.

The 24-year-old, who was the only Commonwealth gymnast in the field of 26 at Rio Olympic Arena today after qualifying in a quota spot, had a near perfect debut.

"The Olympics is the pinnacle so to perform in that arena and under that pressure was an incredible expetience," Prince said.

"It was amazing. That was 14 years on the making. I am going to celebrate with a block of chocolate and catch up with my family."

Prince overcame a nervous start in the morning session with a small fumble at the start of her hoop routine which saw her score 14.5 (Difficulty 6.9, Execution 7.6) to back up with a solid ball routine and a score of 15.25 (D 7.35, E 7.9).

She saved her best for the last two routines in the afternoonand session with scores of 15.716 (D 7.65 , E 8.066) in the clubs and 15.55 (D 7.55 , E 8.0) in ribbon.

Prince knew she was not in contention to qualify for a top 10 finals spot but was aiming for no mistakes and scores in the 15s, with a small error in her first routine the only setback to that goal.

“it was the first thing in my routine … nerves I think that was,” Prince said.

“But I really settled into it as the competition went on and I finished it off really strongly.

“Now I am an Olympian. I couldn’t say that until after I had completed the ribbon.”

She drew on her experiences while training and competing in Europe and the UK to influence her preparations for Rio with stunning leotards designed and made in Italy and Moscow; and a Russian in Finland choreographing her routines and choosing the music.

Prince will continue training for the 2018 Commonwealth Games but has made her one and only Olympic appearance.

Tracie Edmondson

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