Kirsten Beckett was the best of South Africa’s top three Women’s Artistic gymnasts competed at the 44th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, securing a top-50 finish at the world event in Antwerp Belgium.
Of the 120 plus strong international field, young Beckett, in her first World Championships, performed outstandingly to attain her 43rd position, a result which saw her place within the top 5 of Commonwealth participants, and as the top of African participant!
Claudia Cummins, also in her first World Championships, attained 66th position and Nicole Szabo, in her third World Championships, finished in 72th position.
Cummins and Szabo finished as third and fourth in Africa respectively. All three gymnasts hail from Johannesburg Gymnastics Club, coached by former SA gymnast Ilse Laing.
Only the top 24 girls progress to the Individual All-round final, and the top eight of each apparatus to the Apparatus Finals.
The competition is still underway with two Americans and a Chinese gymnast finishing in the top three positions after qualifications, with the All-round individual finals set up to be an entertaining one.
The results by our South African gymnasts bode well for the upcoming 12th African Gymnastics Championships – scheduled to take place from 25 March till 4 April 2014 in Tshwane, in addition to potential 2014 Commonwealth Games selection for the gymnasts.
(With editing by gsport)