Bianca Zoonekynd bagged tumbling bronze for South Africa at the World Cup gymnastics event in Baku, Azerbaijan on Sunday.
And the little Port Elizabeth powerhouse will be mightily relieved to revisit the prize podium!
Zoonekynd ended third in the final, posting a final score of 65.900 to seal third. Winner was Russia’s Anna Korobeinikova with 69.700 and Portugal’s Raquel Pinto was second on 66.000.
Top scorer in the preliminary rounds, Britain’s Lucie Colebeck, ended sixth (63.200).
Zoonekynd told the SASCOC website: ‘It feels so good to be back on the podium and this is just the little confidence boost I needed.
‘I only missed second by 0.1 point. I know I can do better routines and didn’t do my most difficult ones today but I did finish two good clean routines.’
What’s encouraging is that there’s definitely more in the tank. ‘I could have gone for bigger skills but in the end but I just wanted to finish on my feet. I didn’t leave anything out on purpose, it was just a split second decision I made while tumbling.
‘Also, going second last meant that I knew I had enough to be on the podium.’
It’s been some time now since Zoonekynd competed at the very highest level. ‘I can’t even remember my last World Cup. I think my last World Cup competition was 2012 or thereabouts. I’ve podiumed at other internationals but it’s not the same importance as a World Cup and my last two world champs I have missed a final by one place. ‘
Other good news is that her back injury which gave her some bother seems to be behaving itself. ‘My back is holding up. I have a brilliant physio, Gardhe Slabber, back at home. She is the best and really keeps me intact￼.’
Zoonekynd’s next competition will be dependent on funding from the gymnastics federation. ‘My next competition may only be the World Games in Poland, it all depends on funding.’
Article by Mark Etheridge, found at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2017/02/20/world-cup-bronze-for-sas-zoonekynd/#sthash.yji1Sm08.dpuf