Prince claims three National Rhythmic titles
5 June 2017
GYMNASTICS: Danielle Prince continued the New South Wales domination of Rhythmic Gymnastics at this year’s Australia Gymnastics Championships, claiming three gold and one silver medal in Sunday's Senior International Apparatus Finals at Hisense Arena.
In front of an enthralled crowd, Prince’s experience shone through as she consistently out classed the field winning Ribbon, Clubs and Hoop, only being bested on one apparatus by fellow New South Wales team mate, Enid Sung, who put together a commanding Ball routine to start the night.
Newly-crowned 2017 Senior International All-Around Australian Champion, Tara Wilkie, unfortunately had to withdraw from tonight’s finals due to a knee complaint that she picked during her title win last night.
Prince reflected on becoming New Wales teammates with Wilkie and Sung, after the five-time All-Around Australian Champion moved states from Queensland to New South Wales after her Olympic campaign in Rio last year.
"We are all pushing each other at the moment, and that’s the best place to be in," Prince said.
"But that competitiveness between us is left out on the floor, and we’re excellent teammates out the back,” she continued.
Prince’s previous national record sets a high water mark, with dominant results throughout her career, and although she almost pulled off a clean sweep of the Apparatus Finals tonight, she said her performance was a little down on previous years.
“This National Championship definitely wasn’t my best, but for me it was a stepping stone onto the World Championships and the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Prince explained.
“Coming back after Olympics, and having about four months off, I feel like it’s all a work in progress at the moment.”
On the other side of Hisense Arena, the Senior International Trampoline finals were decided with New South Welshman, Ty Swadling, claiming his second National title, with a score of 58.255, ahead of his brother and silver medallist, Shaun Swadling (56.530), with fellow statesman, Aiden Thomas (55.955), rounding out the placings with bronze.
Rio Olympian - New Zealand’s Dylan Schmidt - took outright gold with a score of 60.625, but wasn’t eligible for the Australian Title.
After Swadling's first individual National Title win in 2011, the now two-time Australian Champion credited his relaxed approach in the lead up to this event with giving him the edge ahead of a strong field.
"I’ve been trying to keep things pretty happy and relaxed of late...I’ve been enjoying my family time, my work life, and keeping everything balanced,” Swadling said.
“I think I found the right formula to all that leading in so I felt great...it’s a very talented group of people [competing], so to come out with the win is always a great feeling.”
The Female Senior Individual Trampoline competiton was another clean sweep of the dais for New South Wales, with Kira Ward taking out the gold medal with a score 52.760, ahead of Leanne Van Rensburg on 48.790, and Amy Lewis on 48.205. New Zealand's Rachel Schmidt finished second overall with 51.280, but like her brother, Dylan, she ineligible to win the Australian Title.
The 2017 Australian Gymnastics Championships wraps up at Hisense Arena on Monday, with the final day of competition in Rhythmic, Trampoline and Acrobatic Gymnastics.
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