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Mitchell back for more Games gold

28 July 2014

COMM GAMES GYMNASTICS: As she walked off the floor at the completion of her London Olympics campaign, Lauren Mitchell was done.

Two years on, the 21-year-old is back for more - Australia's most successful gymnast spearheading the nation's Commonwealth Games artistic team in Glasgow, and not ruling out at third Olympics in Rio.

Shoulder surgery may have robbed the West Australian the chance to defend two of her gold medals from the Delhi Games - the bars and individual all-around - but it has her body feeling strong and mind fresh.

"Definitely two years ago I was like `nah, that's it, I'm done`," Mitchell told AAP.

"Then I had the shoulder surgery and I didn't want to finish on that note - it just didn't quite feel right.

"I wanted to be one of those people that say `yes, I can come back from adversity and prove to myself that I can do it'.

"I gave myself the Commonwealth Games as a goal."

And what of a farewell in Rio?

"Being in this environment I'm like `yes, definitely I can go' I love the team and the vibe," she said.

"But then I think about how much work it is every single day.

"I'll reassess after worlds (in October) and we'll see how I'm feeling mentally and how the body's feeling."

She will line up alongside Games debutants Larrissa Miller, Georgia-Rose Brown, Mary-Anne Monckton and Olivia Vivian.

Vivian, a seven-time national champion on the bars who will also contest the individual all-around, is on her first national team since the 2008 Olympics, having spent time in the US competing on the college circuit.

"I'm a bars specialist so the other three will be very interesting," Vivian said.

Unlike Delhi, where Australia had it largely all their own way thanks to Mitchell's four gold and one silver medal haul, they should get some stiff competition from Canada and England.

The Canadians were the big improvers at the London Olympics where they finished fifth in the team's final - which Australia failed to qualify for - and they have two members of that team in Ellie Black and Victoria Moors returning.

Steve Jancetic


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