Jewish duo reach new level at nationals

Sydney’s Jaymi Aronowitz in action on the beam at the 2019 Australian Gymnastics Championships at Melbourne Arena last week. Photo: Peter Haskin

ARTISTIC gymnastics of the highest standard was on the menu in week one of the Australian Gymnastics Championships from May 20 at Melbourne Arena, where two Jewish athletes served up impressive results while competing one level up compared to last year.

Moriah College high school student Jaymi Aronowitz, who at the 2018 nationals came 11th overall in the women’s level 10 junior division, was thrilled to finish sixth in a field of 41 at this year’s nationals in the women’s level 10 senior (17 and over) competition.

Her combined score of 99.800 fell just 5.825 points short of bronze medallist Olivia Doherty from Queensland. 

Photo: Peter Haskin

That result was all the more satisfying for the NSW representative, given her less than hoped for seventh placing at the State Championships in April, which followed a somewhat disrupted preparation that included a summer student study tour of Israel.

“It feels really good,” Aronowitz told The AJN, “especially on the back of the state (NSW Championships) results, when I wasn’t at my best.

“I just thought to myself at that point, it’s only upwards from there.

“But I knew what errors I’d made, and what things I needed to correct with my coaches.” 

Aronowitz made all four apparatus finals at the nationals – her best result being seventh in the uneven bars when she scored 12.80 while attempting a routine with the equal highest level of difficulty (5.6).

She also made the top 10 in the beam final, coming ninth with a score of 12.45.

“I went well on day one (the preliminaries) on the bars, so I just tried to focus on backing that up, and it worked.”

“I felt I was a bit rocky in the prelims on the beam though. We had two days spare before the final, so I worked on a few things, and was able to get a higher score.

“I’m a pretty calm person generally, which helps in those situations. I just tried to focus on myself, and not on what was happening around me.

“It’s rewarding to see my hard work pay off, and I’ll keep aiming to improve at this level.

“Of course everyone [else] can improve too, so it will be interesting to see what happens.”

Melbourne Gymnastics Club’s Asher Ginsberg, who came 23rd at open men’s level 8 at last year’s nationals, finished 14th this time, competing at open level 9.

The 21-year-old was particularly strong in floor, finishing equal sixth with scores of 12.050 and 12.300, which also contributed to his Victorian squad winning gold in the men’s level 9 teams event.

“We had a very good team dynamic, so it was very exciting to be a part of that win,” Ginsberg said.

“I’ve been working on a particular floor routine for a while now and, having different coaches than usual during the championships, I found it useful to get different perspectives on it, which I felt helped to perfect my landings.”

More Jewish athletes will compete in week two of the nationals, which begins today, in rhythmic, aerobic and trampoline disciplines.

SHANE DESIATNIK