An exciting squad of Australia’s best gymnasts are ready for the challenge at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the squad features five Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holders, Ashari Gill, Romi Brown, Kate McDonald, Emily Whitehead and Tyson Bull, who are going to be bold in gold.
Nine Australian gymnasts will be on debut at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as the reinvigorated team looks to recapture its dominance in the floor, vault, beam and bars disciplines.
The nine rookies will be joined by four Commonwealth Games alumni, rounding out the 13-strong squad.
Among those returning are Gold Coast 2018 individual all-around silver medallist Georgia Godwin, 24, and vault bronze medallist Emily Whitehead, 22. The pair were also part of the bronze medal-winning all-around team at the Gold Coast Games.
Debutantes Romi Brown, 19, Kate McDonald, 21, and Breanna Scott, 20, complete the Australian women’s artistic gymnastics team.
For Victorian-based Emily Whitehead, making the team is a significant achievement after battling a series of devastating injuries following the 2018 Games. She said it makes her selection all the more special.
“One thing I have learnt since COVID is to stop and appreciate each moment a little more,” she said.
“It is an honour to wear the green and gold and I am going to enjoy every moment of representing my country again.”
Gold Coast bronze medallist Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva, 20 will make her second Commonwealth Games appearance in Rhythmic Gymnastics alongside Ashari Gill, 19, and the youngest member of the team, Lidiia Iakovleva, 18. The trio will be looking to win Australia’s first gold medal in the Rhythmic Team competition since the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The only returning Commonwealth Games Team Member in the men’s artistic team is Queenslander Mitchell Morgans, 29. He will compete alongside Games newcomers Tyson Bull, 29, Christopher (James) Bacueti, 27, Clay Mason Stephens, 25, and Jesse Moore, 19.
Bull made Australian gymnastics history at the Tokyo Olympics when the Victorian became the first Australian to make an Olympic men’s artistic gymnastics final when he finished fifth in the horizontal bar discipline.
First-time Commonwealth Games Team Member and the youngest of the Men’s Artistic gymnasts, Jesse Moore from South Australia is excited to be heading to Birmingham, and the teenager can’t wait to don the green and gold.
“It’s always special representing Australia and such a privilege to compete for this amazing country,” Moore said.
For fellow South Australian team member and debutant Clay Mason Stephens this experience is an opportunity for not only himself but for his family who he credits as being his number one supporter since he started gymnastics at the age of five.
“When I put on the green and gold, I feel an overwhelming amount of pride as well as responsibility.,” Mason Stephens said.
“Whenever I raise my hand at a competition I am performing for my family, my friends, my coaches, my teammates as well as for myself… all of which mean the world to me.”
Australian Team Chef de Mission Petria Thomas OAM welcomes the latest additions to the growing number of Team Members heading to Birmingham in less than 40 days’ time.
“Congratulations to the gymnasts announced to represent Australia in Birmingham,” Thomas said.
“We saw some great performances from the Gymnastics Team at the Gold Coast Games and I’m sure we will see the same with again from the Team in Birmingham.
“The addition of these 13 Team Members brings the current total to 315 of the estimated 425 athletes that will represent Australia at the Birmingham Games starting next month. I can’t wait to watch our gymnasts and the rest of the Australian Team in action!”
Gymnastics Australia CEO Alexandra Ash congratulated each of the gymnasts named to compete in Birmingham.
“On behalf of the entire gymnastics community in Australia, we recognise and congratulate our athletes named today,” Ash said.
“Representing your country at a Commonwealth Games is an extraordinary achievement that few people get to experience in their lifetime. I want to wish all our gymnasts the very best as they strive to achieve their personal goals during their time in Birmingham.”
To access more VIS specific Commonwealth Games news, visit our Birmingham Hub.