Jewish gymnasts finish Aus championships on a high
Jewish athletes have won five more golds, three silvers, and three bronzes in the Australian Gymnastics Championships.
After ACT artistic gymnast Uri Lev won a gold medal in week one of the 2023 Australian Gymnastics Championships in the Gold Coast, Jewish athletes won five more golds, three silvers, and three bronzes in the second and final week, which concluded last Sunday night.
Leading the way with a five medal haul was 21-year-old Melburnian Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva, who said she felt energised to be back on Australian soil to compete in her 12th consecutive national championships, having trained for the last six months in Baku, Azerbaijan, while competing in rhythmic gymnastics world cup rounds.
Kiroi-Bogatyreva – who won a medal of every colour at the 2022 Commonwealth Games – told The AJN on Wednesday, she is enjoying competing in gymnastics as much as ever.
And while she always feels at the Australian Championships “a level of responsibility to perform well in front of a home crowd, my family, and friends”, she added, there’s equally a feeling of “excitement and [positive] nervousness at this event”.
This time representing NSW instead of Victoria – due to becoming a member of Le Ray Gymnastics Club – Kiroi-Bogatyreva successfully defended her senior international all-around Australian title, contested by 20 athletes.
Implementing her new routines for each apparatus consistently well, she scored a total of 112.900 points, 2.85 points ahead of runner-up, Victorian Ashari Gill, while also helping NSW win the teams gold medal.
In the individual apparatus finals, Kiroi-Bogatyreva nailed a score of 30.200 to win outright in hoops by 1.25 points, and she won a fourth gold in the ball apparatus alongside Asya Seker, as they both top-scored with 28.600.
In ribbon, Kiroi-Bogatyreva claimed bronze with 26.950, but came fifth in clubs.
“I felt very accepted by the NSW team, managers, coaches and support staff, and I felt I had a good competition,” she said, adding that some physical tiredness came into play towards the end.
She also revealed that all her new routines for ball, ribbon, clubs, and hoops “were created in Israel, with the help of the Israeli national team, and later fine-tuned in Azerbaijan”.
“I am grateful to Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, who accepted me into their training centre in December 2021, allowing me to perfect my routines with highly experienced staff, at their world class facilities.
“All of these elements add together with long hours and hard work, and results speak for themselves.”
Kiroi-Bogatyreva will next be in action, when representing Australia in the individual events at the Continental Asian Championships from May 31, in Manila.
Also heading to the Continental Asian Championships, to compete in the group events and make her Australian representative debut, will be Jewish Queenslander Jessica Weintraub, who also had a memorable nationals.
Weintraub – who moved to Brisbane from Melbourne several years ago with her family, and is now a member of Aspire Gymnastics Academy – helped her adopted state team win gold in hoops in the senior international group competition, and also win two group silvers, in all-around, and combined ball/ribbon.
Eva Gordienko and Amber Goldberg
Still in rhythmic gymnastics, Eva Gordienko and Amber Goldberg helped Victoria claim silver in junior international all-around teams, and they came 15th and 22nd respectively, in individual all-around.
Both began competing together at the nationals in pre and sub-junior events, and are now high achievers at junior international level.
In trampoline, Victorian James Mann-Segal, 14, executed a free-flowing and technically precise routine to qualify second for the U17 men’s junior international individual trampoline final, going on to win bronze with a score of 48.265.
He came ninth in individual mini trampoline, and teamed up with Emerson Leffler in synchronised, whom he came fifth with in U15 boys’ at last year’s junior worlds.
The pair had a perfect start to their nationals synchro campaign, qualifying in first spot for the final with a flawless routine, but then an early fall dropped them to eighth.
Mann-Segal told The AJN that overall, “I was happy with my scores and bronze medal, and I want to keep getting better”.
Another bronze was won by Avi Margolis, 21, who helped NSW place third in the open men’s international trampoline teams category.
Margolis also made the senior men’s synchronised final, with partner Shaun Swadling, placing 7th. In the prelims, they came 6th out of 11, to advance.
And in acrobatic gymnastics, year 8 King David School student Chloe Auslender contributed to her Victorian level 6 women’s trio team placing fourth out of 17 in balance, and sixth overall.