TWO Jewish aerobic gymnastic athletes – one an experienced campaigner and the other fairly new to the sport – excelled at the 2017 national championships held in Bendigo from September 20-24.
Sydney’s Deborah Greenbaum, 20, was named Senior Gymnast of the Year on day one of the tournament in recognition of her world ranking of 11, her placing of ninth at the World Cup in Japan and eighth at the ANAC International Championships.
Her contributions to the sport as a certified coach, an international judge and through chairing the LEAP program for young gymnasts were also noted.
“I feel honoured and very appreciative,” Greenbaum said.
“I’m blessed with good health, outstanding coaches at PLC Gymnastics and a family who supports me in my training and studies.”
In a close competition, Greenbaum finished second at the nationals in the women’s senior international final, scoring 19.85 points just behind Victoria’s Olivia Feaver on 20.50 points.
“I performed well in the preliminary round, coming first with a score of 20.65 and I was ready but nervous for the final.
“Unfortunately a slip of the hand meant I had a fall, so my score was reduced.
“I finished the rest of the routine as perfectly as possible, but it wasn’t enough.”
Victorian 15-year-old Taya Bergman was the surprise package at the nationals, finishing first in the level 5 intermediate final on 16.75 points, edging fellow Victorian Lucy Membrey by 0.3 points.
The Mount Scopus College student competed for almost a decade in junior artistic gymnastics, and only made the shift to aerobic gymnastics 18 months ago through Loreto Toorak Gymnastics Club.
The competition was judged on degrees of artistry, execution and difficulty. Her father, Jack, told The AJN that her goal for the nationals was simply to do her best.
“Taya has a very good coach, she trains three times per week, she’s made significant gains all year and was able to execute well in the final.”
“She was pretty excited to win, and felt it proved she could compete well at that level.”
It’s been a rapid rise for Bergman, who also represented Australia at the ANAC International Championships, in the intermediate teams event, finishing second.
Next year she will compete at intermediate level 6.