Leaping by example at Aussie Championships

Deborah Greenbaum (right) and Jaymi Aronowitz at the Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne.

STRONG performances by NSW representatives Deborah Greenbaum and Jaymi Aronowitz at the Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne last week are sure to inspire eight Jewish Victorians currently competing in the final days of the tournament. Greenbaum is Australia’s highest ranked individual women’s aerobic gymnast, but she proved she can match it with the best senior artistic gymnasts in the country.

The 20-year-old University of Sydney pharmacy student – who trains in both types of gymnastics for almost 30 hours per week – helped NSW win a Level 10 team bronze medal.

She went on to finish second in the final of the floor discipline – her strongest event – and eighth overall for vault, bars, beam and floor. Greenbaum said missing last year’s nationals due to a scheduling clash with the Aerobic Gymnastics world championships left her with “no expectations” for the nationals this time, and “it meant I entered them as a little bit of an outsider”.

“As a team we all did our best … and personally I was very pleased with my performances,” she said. “I had a fall on beam in the preliminaries which was disappointing, however I put it out of my mind and performed well in the finals. Floor has always been my specialty – it feels like flying while dancing.”

Greenbaum said training for two forms of gymnastics is a challenge, but her passion for both, being well-organised and having fantastic coaches, makes it possible. She has also gained international judging and coaching certification, serves as chair of the Gymnastics Youth Advisory Panel, and was recently selected in the Australian team for the 2017 ANAC Aerobic Gymnastics International Championships which start on July 30 in Phoenix.

Jaymi Aronowitz helped NSW win a team silver medal in the Level Nine girls’ 15 and under artistic gymnastics division at the nationals. The 14-year-old Moriah College student also finished third in the finals of the vault and the beam, and came 12th overall. “It’s always an amazing feeling when you and your team put in a good effort and are rewarded with a medal,” she told The AJN.

Jewish gymnasts competing this week at the nationals include rhythmic gymnasts Alexandra Kiroi, Anna Logachova, Ommer Yemini, Rashelle Feldman and Jessica Weintraub, and trampoline athletes James Mann-Segal, Guy Rotenberg and Lexi Paul.

SHANE DESIATNIK