Leading SA Women’s Artistic Gymnast, Naveen Daries, has secured a qualification spot for Tokyo with a fourth-placed overall finish at the African Championships in Egypt, to ensure that two South African Women’s Artistic Gymnasts have qualified to go to the Olympic Games for the first time ever.
Daries took to Instagram shortly after her achievement, posting: “I have finally qualified to go to the Olympics and I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity.
“Today’s competition wasn’t the best and that’s okay. I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn and better today’s mistakes. I’ve been out of international competition for 15 months and I’m excited for next week’s World Challenge Cup here in Egypt.”
Two years ago, Daries was on the South African team that competed at the Artistic World Championships in Stuttgart, when Caitlin Rooskrantz won gold to become the first SA gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games in 15 years.
Now, two years later, Rooskrantz was on the SA team, as she watched her best friend and team mate, Daries, secure Olympic qualification and shatter the record books as two SA Women’s Artistic gymnasts qualify for the Olympics for the first time ever.
Rooskrantz, who won the Emerging Athlete of the Year at the 2020 Momentum gsport Awards, shared an emotional message on Instagram:
‘My heart is bursting with such pride 😭
YOU DID IT ! WE DID IT !
We’ve made history for our country TWICE !😭
We sat over two years ago and fantasized to each other about how incredible it would be to go to the Olympic Games together – look at us now !
Proud is an understatement 😭❤️
Glad to be on the road to Tokyo with none other than my bestest friend 🤍”
It was an extra special event for Daries in Egypt as she and her sister Zelme made history as the first two sisters to compete in the same division as Protea gymnasts.
Gymnastics in South Africa has been on a high thanks to these young athletes who have been proudly flying the flag for the sport in the country.
🇿🇦Team SA's Naveen Daries has snapped up a qualification spot for the Olympic Games🙌! For the first time ever, we have two Women's Artistic Gymnasts qualify to go to the Olympics!#GymnasticsSA #AFCH pic.twitter.com/cUYN5hNUCr
— SAGF (@SAGymnastics) May 26, 2021
Last year, SA Gymnastics Federation fought off strong competition to win the Federation of the Year award at the 2020 Momentum gsport Awards, and with performances likes these, more accolades are set to roll in.
Photo 1 Caption: Pictured beaming with pride on the podium, Artistic Gymnast Naveen Daries has secured a qualification spot for Tokyo with a fourth-placed overall finish at the African Championships in Egypt, to ensure that two South African Women’s Artistic Gymnasts have qualified to go to the Olympic Games for the first time ever. Photo: Gymnastics SA / Twitter
Photo 2 Caption: Artistic Gymnast Caitlin Rooskrantz, who won gold at the World Championships in Stuttgart to become the first SA gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games in 15 years, is over the moon at her best friend Naveen Daries’ performance. Photo: Naveen Daries / Instagram
Photo 3 Caption: It was also a day to celebrate a family record, with Naveen’s sister Zelme Daries combining with her sister to make history as the first two sisters to compete in the same division as Protea gymnasts. Photo: Naveen Daries / Instagram