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Ringmaster eyes Olympic circus

1 June 2012

Josh Jefferis has today been selected as the first artistic gymnast on the 2012 Australian Olympic Team.

Jefferis will head to London in the individual men’s artistic gymnastics, and is looking to do Australia proud as its only competitor in the discipline.

"This is the greatest honour of my life to be selected to represent Australia at the 2012 London Olympic Games,” 26-year-old Jefferis said.

“It's a dream come true and I'm striving to do my very best to make my teammates, family, friends and country proud. I can't wait to fly the green and gold in front of the world and promote Gymnastics which I've devoted my life to."

Jefferis has had a tense lead up to making his first Olympic Games. After securing the sole position for Australia at last year’s World Championships, Jefferis was in a tight tussle with teammate and good friend Thomas Pichler for the spot.

Final selection was made from the 2012 Australian Gymnastics Championships, with Jefferis taking out the All-Around title with a total score of 87.697. Pichler will head to London as reserve and support.

“I just went out there and went about my business as usual,” Jefferis said of the all-important selection event. “I tried to hit all my routines and fortunately enough I did that.

“It’s mixed emotions because it’s hard knowing that one of us will miss out and one of us will be competing. Tommy is a really tough competitor. He’s always pushed me in training and vice versa and I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather have by my side.”

National Coach for men’s artistic gymnastics John Curtin has only positive things to say about Jefferis’ selection.

“He's a bit of a dark horse,” he said. “He's a tough competitor, that's the big thing with Josh, he's one tough competitor. His performances have been outstanding through the last five major events and he is continuing to show improvement to his difficulty scores,” Curtin said. “He is fitter and stronger than he has been for some time, and between now and the Games will be focus on execution to best maximise the chances of a top 10 finish.”

Jefferis, whose best disciplines are rings and parallel bars, will enter the Australian Olympic Gymnastics training camp on June 24 at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and then fly out to London and on the 3rd of July.

Janine Murray was also selected today to represent Australia in rhythmic gymnastics. Read more here >>>

Alice Wheeler
Australian Olympic Committee

http://london2012.olympics.com.au/news/murray-finds-her-rhythm

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