Smith pumped as de­but pieces tum­ble into place

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - ADAM SMITH

JA­COB Smith will cre­ate a slice of Tas­ma­nian gym­nas­tics his­tory when the World Cham­pi­onships be­gin in Ja­pan next week — all on his own in­ter­na­tional de­but.

Smith will com­pete in the men’s tum­bling event, be­com­ing the first ath­lete from the state to don the green and gold in the dis­ci­pline.

The 22-year-old forms part of a strong Tassie contin­gent in both the world cham­pi­onships and World Age Cham­pi­onships, with a to­tal of seven ath­letes to fea­ture at the two-week event, which be­gins next Thursday, while an­other has been se­lected as a re­serve.

Smith is joined in the na­tional se­nior group by his coach Damien Ax­elsen, who is fea­tur­ing at his fourth world cham­pi­onships.

“This is my first in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, I’m pretty ex­cited and just try­ing not to get too ner­vous,” said Smith, who has flown to Syd­ney to round out his prepa­ra­tions at the Kachan School of Tum­bling and Per­for­mance.

Ax­elsen, 27, will look to use his ex­pe­ri­ence against some of the best gym­nasts in the world to help qual­ify the Aus­tralian team for the dou­ble-mini tramp fi­nal.

Sib­lings Matthew (17-21 years men’s in­di­vid­ual/syn­chro­nised and dou­ble-mini) and Am­ber French (15-16 years women’s in­di­vid­ual/ syn­chro­nised) spear­head Tas­ma­nia’s age ti­tles as­sault.

Matthew is joined in the 17-21 men’s events by 17year-old Pa­trick Sch­luter, while 16-year-olds Flynn Caro and Cal­lum O’Sul­li­van, who is mak­ing his maiden ap­pear­ance on the in­ter­na­tional stage will con­test the 15-16 years events along­side Am­ber.

Eddy Rand will be the re­serve gym­nast for the 17-21 year’s men’s dou­ble-mini tramp, while state coach Ben Kelly and King­bor­ough Gym­sports club coach Ali­son Mor­gan will also travel as coaches.

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