Wilkie claims All-Around Rhythmic national title
3 June 2017
GYMNASTICS: New South Wales’ Tara Wilkie threw caution to the wind to break through for her first Senior International Rhythmic Gymnastics All-Around Title, in a near-faultless display at Hisense Arena last night.
On the comeback from surgery late last year, Wilkie started strong in her first routine with clubs and never looked back, absorbing the pressure and performing with supreme confidence to score a winning All-Around total of 61.050.
“It’s tough once you do a good routine, to get in the right mindset of not being too happy too soon,” Wilkie said.
It was Wilkie’s new New South Wales teammate and five-time All-Around Australian Champion, Danielle Prince, applying the majority of the pressure on Wilkie, in a reversal of role from years the previous two years.
After a consistent night’s work Prince came away with All-Around Silver, and Wilkie humbly pointed out the influence that the 2016 Olympian has had on her.
“She [Prince] is an amazing gymnast; she’s achieved so much in her career…I look up to her, and since she moved down to New South Wales I think that gave me a bit of a push as well,” Wilkie said.
“I now know that I have to keep training really hard, even through tough times, so being able to take this win – finally - I’m over the moon.”
Enid Sung claimed bronze to make it a clean sweep on the All-Around podium for New South Wales, to go with the team gold that the Sky Blues won with a score of 174.550, ahead of Queensland (144.700) and Victoria (132.900).
The qualifiers for the Senior Individual Trampoline competition also took place at Hisense Arena last night, with New Zealand’s Dylan Schmidt finishing as the top male qualifier to lead a strong field - including the Swadling brothers from New South Wales and Tasmania’s Jack Penny - into tomorrow’s final.
The notable out from tonight’s final is two-time Olympian Blake Gaudry, who was on track to make it through after his first flight, but uncharacteristically fell off the Trampoline during his second flight. To the crowd’s relief he was uninjured in the fall, but unfortunately his score couldn’t recover in quite the same way.
Another Kiwi - Rachel Schmidt - will lead the girls into tonight's Female Individual Trampoline Final, which will kick off at Hisense Arena from 6pm, alongside the Senior and Junior International Rhythmic Apparatus Finals.