Mitchell heads Comm Games gymnastics team

26 May 2014

GYMNASTICS: Having made a successful recovery from major shoulder surgery, dual Olympian and Australia's only female gymnastics world champion Lauren Mitchell will spearhead a 10-strong artistic squad at the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Mitchell won four gold medals at the previous Games in Delhi and also claimed silver on the floor - the discipline where she won a historic world title later in 2010.

The Australian women have won every Commonwealth team title since 1998 and Mitchell is confident they can extend that run in Glasgow, while her individual focus will be primarily on the beam and the floor.

The 22-year-old West Australian was one of the standout performers at the national titles which wound up in Melbourne on Sunday.

"It's taken quite a long time to get back and rehabilitate after having the shoulder surgery in March last year," Mitchell told AAP.

"This time last year I didn't think I'd be where I am now, but all the work by my team, all the physio and massage, has been worth it.

"The first moment when I woke up after the surgery and the drugs were wearing off it felt like my arm was never moving again.

"Then I can remember when I was lying down on my back and I actually touched the floor behind me, I jumped up and was so excited.

"That was one of those little milestones when I really believed I would get back for Glasgow."

Mitchell has yet to decide whether to press on to October's world championships in Nanning, China.

The strong women's squad for the Glasgow Games also includes two other Olympians in Larrissa Miller and Olivia Vivian.

The men's team includes 36-year-old Naoya Tsukahara, a 2004 Olympic gold medallist with his birth country of Japan.

Tsukahara became an Australian citizen in 2013.

The Commonwealth rhythmic gymnastics team will be named on June 1 at the conclusion of the national championships in Melbourne.

Commonwealth artistic gymnastics team: Women - Georgia-Rose Brown (VIC), Larrissa Miller (VIC), Lauren Mitchell (WA), Mary-Anne Monckton (VIC), Olivia Vivian (WA). Men - Jayden Bull (VIC), Michael Mercieca (QLD), Mitchell Morgans (QLD), Naoya Tsukahara (QLD), Luke Wadsworth (VIC).

John Salvado

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