Women to watch:
Leaping and tumbling towards the podium is one of Australia’s most well-credentialed female line-ups. Three girls remain from Australia’s successful Beijing campaign- Georgia Bonora, Ashleigh Brennan and the main draw card, Lauren Mitchell.
Mitchell is accustomed to making history, becoming Australia’s first female gymnastics World Champion in 2010. The 21-year-old returns to familiar territory for the Games, London’s North Greenwich Arena, where she won two silver medals at the 2009 World Championships on beam and on floor.
Man to watch:
Australia only qualified one male athlete for the London Olympic Games but Joshua Jefferis is ready to fire. After being called up to compete at the London test event after a teammate was injured, Jefferis performed strongly and qualified Australia the quota position.
Following a number of lead up competitions, the race for the spot came down to Jefferis and his good mate, and reserve on the team, Thomas Pichler at the 2012 Australian Championships. Jefferis showed his class to win the title. Despite having doubts over whether he would even compete at the test event, Jefferis has now booked his ticket to London.
ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS FORMAT
In Olympic competition there are 98 men and 98 women. Men compete on 6 apparatus: floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar. Women compete on 4 apparatus: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor. Competition is divided into sessions: team qualifying, team finals, all-around finals and apparatus finals.
In the team event there are 12 men's and 12 women's teams with five gymnasts in each team. During qualifying rounds four gymnasts compete on each apparatus and three of their scores count. Scores determine the top eight teams who advance to the team finals and which individual gymnasts advance to the all-around and apparatus finals.
In the team finals gymnasts compete on all apparatus and the scores determine the team competition medallists.
In the all-around finals, individual gymnasts perform on all apparatus. Their scores from all events are added together and the gymnasts with the three highest totals are awarded medals.
In the individual competition, the top 24 all-around gymnasts (max 2 per country) advance to the all-around final. The top eight gymnasts on each individual apparatus (max 2 per country) advance to the finals. In vault, gymnasts must show two vaults with only one counting towards team and all-around competition. In the apparatus finals, the top eight gymnasts on each event compete for medals.
To obtain scores, one panel of judges starts from 0 and adds points for requirements, difficulty and connections. A second panel of judges starts from 10 and deducts for execution and artistry. The final score is the sum of the two.
AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC HISTORY
The first Australian Olympic gymnasts competed at the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games, however the nation is yet to win an artistic or rhythmic medal. The best artistic result was at the Beijing 2008 Games where the women's artistic team placed sixth.
To read more about Australia’s Olympic gymnastics history, click here>>>