Soaring start to gymnastics nationals

NSW artistic gymnastics representative Jaymi Aronowitz at the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne. Photo: Peter Haskin

ARTISTIC gymnastics was the name of the game in week one of the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena, and three Jewish athletes showed they could leap, flip, balance, lift and land at a level matching the nation’s best.

Following her NSW title win in April, 15-year-old Sydneysider Jaymi Aronowitz continued to impress in the Level 10 junior women’s division at the nationals, finishing 11th overall on 96.175 points in the two-day competition – one place higher than last year.

“Winning the state championships definitely helped, coming into the nationals, because I’d come close to winning it [the NSW Championships] a few times and I knew I’d worked hard, and got there in the end,” Aronowitz told The AJN on Monday.

“It was a good preparation with my coaches – it’s always nerve-wracking waiting for the judges’ scores to come up at nationals, but I always try to compete as if it is like a normal training session, and find that helps.

“What does change is the level of competition gets harder each year.”

Aronowitz fared even better in the individual apparatus, coming fourth in the vault and sixth in the uneven bars, 12th in the beam and 21st on the floor.

“The vault has always been one of my strongest events – I seem to have a natural thing for it – so I was really happy to do so well in the bars.”

Her sixth placing in uneven bars was a vast improvement from 18th place in 2017, and the Moriah College student’s decision to raise the level of difficulty of her routines paid off, as she executed them beautifully.

“We had two days of training in between the competition days, so I used that time to try to fix the things I hadn’t done well,” Aronowitz said.

In both the vault and the beam, missing out on a medal was determined by less than half of one point, indicating just how close the competition was.

“I love the challenge in gymnastics of every time you master something, you add more to it.

“Next year I’ll be in the senior division, so it only gets harder.”

In the men’s Level 8 open competition, Victorians Asher Ginsberg and Jay Rosenzweig finished 23rd and 29th overall.

Ginsberg’s best result was ninth in the pommel horse and 11th in the vault, while Rosenzweig came equal fifth in the parallel bars and 10th in the rings.

Ginsberg said his good mate and training partner, Rosenzweig, was very happy with his performance, given he was nursing a knee injury.

As for his own results, Ginsberg said on balance he is satisfied.

“The first day didn’t go quite to plan and I made mistakes, but I was able to recover and get some good scores on day two.

“It can be tough training for six different apparatus, but I find you can link skills together, and if you don’t do well in competition on one apparatus, you can still do well in others.”

Twelve Jewish athletes will compete in week two, in rhythmic gymnastics and trampolining.

SHANE DESIATNIK

Victoria’s Asher Ginsberg shows his skill on the high bar at the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne on May 24. Photo: Peter Haskin