MAG National Squad Update

The Men’s Senior National Squad recently came together in Canberra for a training camp to consider likely gymnasts for the Continental Championships to be held in conjunction with Australian Gymnastics Championships (AGC) in May. The week was productive with a number of young gymnasts involved who are stepping into Senior this year and providing some depth to the squad currently depleted by a number of injuries. 

A priority list of gymnasts for the Continental Championships (team of five gymnasts) to compete against New Zealand was identified and includes: 
Tyson Bull (NCE/VIC), Scott Costin (BGS/QLD), Jack Hall (NSW/HPC), Mitchell Morgans (NCE/QLD), Gabriel Swan-McLean (NSW/HPC) Michael Tone (QLD/HPC). 

Hudson Irwin (QLD/HPC) and James Bacueti (NCE/ACT) are primary backups for the squad and the final team will be selected after the Podium training Session at AGC.

Australia was represented in World Cup events in Baku, AZE (14-17 March) and Doha, QAT (20-23 March) by gymnasts from the NCE, Canberra in James Bacueti (QLD), Tyson Bull (VIC), Mitchell Morgans (QLD) & Chris Remkes (SA).

In Baku, Remkes finished in 6th place on Floor in the final; qualified 1st for the Vault final & fell in the final to finish in 6th place and a couple of falls on Pommel Horse in qualifying meant he was to finish well down the list. 

Morgans (D 6.0 / 14.233) and Bull (D 5.6 / 13.833) both looked strong on Horizontal Bar and qualified for the final in 3rd & 7th places respectively; in the final, Morgans was 4th (D 6.0 / 14.133) just missing a podium finish with another solid routine and Bull (D 5.2 / 12.233) was 8th with a fall. Both Morgans (D 5.5 / 13.533) and Bull (D 5.4 / 13.1) struggled on Parallel Bar in qualification, finishing 14th & 20th respectively.

Bacueti had a rough time on Vault in Baku, finishing qualification in 21st place with falls in both vaults; competing two big vaults with a Tsukahara 3.5 twists and a handspring stretched front salto with 2.5 twists.  

Doha was a mixed bag for our Australian gymnasts with Remkes qualifying for finals on Floor (7th with 14.133) and Vault (5th with 14.699). Unfortunately, in the Floor final, Remkes sustained a serious knee injury in a bad landing from his 3/1 double layout and is scheduled for surgery on Monday 29 April; anticipated rehabilitation for the injury is around 12 months. We wish Chris a thorough and speedy recovery from the injury which will keep him out of competition at least for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. 

Bull (D 5.7 / 13.233) and Morgans (D 6.0 / 12.933) were both extremely disappointed to miss Horizontal Bar finals after solid performances in Baku the week before but benefited enormously from the experience gained from the tour and World Cup events. Morgans qualified through to the Parallel Bars final (D 6.0 / 14.333) and went on to win the bronze medal with probably his best ever Parallel Bar performance (D 6.0 / 14.566); Bull had a miss on Parallel Bars in qualifying (D 5.0 / 12.566) after struggling with a tight back, tweaking it earlier in the day in training. 

Bacueti put up a great first Vault nailing his Tsukahara 3.5 twists (D 6.0 / 15.166) but fell on his Handspring layout front 2.5 twists and missed out on the finals. All in all a successful World Cup tour for the guys.

In a further blow to the Men’s National Team, Clay Stephens sustained a similar injury to that of Chris Remkes within days of each other, while competing for University of Illinois on Vault. Clay recently underwent surgery and is already on the road to recovery with an extremely positive outlook for the future. We look forward to seeing Clay back in action in the new year of 2020.

Michael Tone made his comeback to All Around competition at the Ukraine International Cup in late March after suffering a lower leg injury leading into the 2018 World Championships. This event was an important step for Tone looking forward to the year ahead. Tone was joined by David Tanner (in his first senior competition) and Scott Costin (also returning to All Around competition after a lengthy injury) as Team Australia. While the competition wasn’t great from a results perspective, coaches Sean Wilson & Jack Coates were very positive about the experience for the gymnasts.

The Men’s Junior National Squad Camp in March (4-9) was an exciting week with gymnasts certainly starting to push the difficulty level higher.

Thirteen gymnasts and six coaches from five programs participated in the camp, with gymnasts performing routines across the week to demonstrate their readiness for the 2019 AGC which will be the selection trial for the Junior World Championships (to be held in Gyor HUN 23-30 June 2019).

A skill show at the end of the camp demonstrated great progress from all of the gymnasts; the challenge now to convert the difficulty into quality routines for 2019.

Gymnasts also performed well in the National Profile Tests conducted during the camp; congratulations to the top performers in each age division:
16-18 Years: =1st Kipp Smith (VIC HPP) and James Hardy (QLD HPC); 3rd Jesse Moore (SA JETS).

National Profile Test records were broken in three activities: Kipp Smith lowered the 25m sprint record to 3.15 secs and also set a new mark for the straddle planche on Rings at 15.3 secs whilst Calvin Currie (QLD HPC) set a new record for Pommel Horse circles, raising the standard to 103.

The Men’s National program will be reviewing National Squads at the Australian Gymnastics Championships in May.