Claire Arthur vying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Claire Arthur, South Australia’s Female Senior Trampolinist is aiming to be one step closer to the 2020 Olympics after this week’s 34th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in Japan. Claire will compete in Prelims on Thursday, 28 November in the Ariake Arena, Tokyo which is the 2020 Olympic Gymnastics venue. This event is the main Olympic qualifying event for Tokyo 2020 Olympics; to qualify an athlete must make the final. Claire is excited to have Viktor Zhuravlev, her personal coach and Head Coach of Gymnastics SA’s High Performance program selected in the Australian Team by her side as she prepares for competition.
Claire shares her experience as she prepares with the Australian Team in Japan.
The Australian Trampoline (TRP) & Double Mini Trampoline (DMT) team arrived in Japan on Monday, 18 November for a training camp in Inashiki city. A member of the Japanese National Team and good friend of mine, Tetsuya Sotomora, was kind enough to act as our host whilst there for the week. We trained twice a day for 2 days, then had a sightseeing day. The sightseeing day was great, Tetsuya showed us Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in Naritasan Park and the Big Budda. The park featured a stunning temple with bright coloured Japanese artwork, amongst many other beautiful temples and gardens.
The facilities at the training camp in Inashiki were great, with 4 trampolines, a DMT and gym. Lunch in between trainings were beautiful bento boxes each day. Thanks to South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) for allowing me to bring Normatec recovery boots as it has really helped my recovery between training sessions.
On the Sunday we had a mock competition where we were split into 2 teams with both TRP and DMT athlete. We competed our routines and passes including synchro routines. Sunday afternoon we travelled an hour by bus into Tokyo to settle into the competition environment. The TRP team visited TeamLab Borderless, the interactive art museum, which was an incredible experience!
Monday morning the Australian Tumblers arrived, completing our Australian Team. We had a light bounce in the training and warm up hall and caught up with our international friends, which is always good fun. One thing I love about this sport, it provides many opportunities to make lifelong friends with people all over the world!
Today (Tuesday) was the first scheduled training sessions, and first time athletes could see and train in the competition hall. The Australian trampolinists were scheduled in the first training group, so we were the first athletes to go in. I was the first on the trampolines, which means I was the first athlete to use the 2020 Olympic Arena!
Training went well this morning, and even better this afternoon. I’m feeling prepared for this competition. Prelims will be on Thursday and us Australian girls will compete in the last group from 8:00 – 9:00 PM. The top 24 athletes will go to semi-finals on Saturday, and from there the top 8 will compete in finals on Sunday.
I am competing in the individual event, which allows me to really focus on my individual routines, rather than synchronised too.
To me, this is my main chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and make my dream come true. It’s a very competitive field with so many strong athletes from many countries. There (3) per country can make semi-finals and only two (2) per county can make finals. In trampolining anything can happen. My aim is to do my best routines and really enjoy my performances. I’m looking forward to it!
I’m excited to be rooming with South Australian’s Georgia Beddall, the only Australian female tumbler on the team. It’s Georgia’s first Senior World Championships and she’s excited and feeling good about the competition on Thursday.
I’m so grateful that for the first time in a while, my personal coach, Viktor Zhuravlev, was selected to the team and is with me at this event. Viktor is a valuable asset to the team, and it has really helped my preparation.
I’m excited to get out there on Thursday and enjoy the competition!