Stars build up for championships | SASCOC - SASCOC

Stars build up for championships

With just days to go before the annual Jannie Jansen International Gymnastics Competition competitors are hard at work in their final preparations.

The event takes on added significance in that the Pretoria competition will serve as an ideal warm-up for the 10th African Gymnastics Championships in Walvis Bay.

Ranked eighth in the wold in the tumbling discipline, Bianca Budler is in great form.

She has shown great consistency on the world circuit with team-mate Karen Wilson and her world ranking is testament to that. She came second in the senior women’s category at the 2009 South African Gymnastic Games behind Karen Wilson.

In her debut as a senior competitor in November 2009, she qualified for the finals of the women’s tumbling qualifications at the 26th Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships held in St. Petersburg, Russia. This talented athlete who hails from Port Elizabeth has shown potential and with continued improvement, she may well be on her way to being ranked 1st in the world when one considers┬áthat Anna Karabenikova, current number one and second ranked Elena Chabanenko, are 27 and 30 years old respectively (the latter with two children). Bianca is currently only 18 years old.

Lucky Radebe grew up in Alexandra township north of Johannesburg and is the youngest of four children. He has practised gymnastics and tumbling with Hudson Nxumalo in Alexandra since he was five years old.

In 2000 Nxumalo approached Helen and Tiaan van der Walt, both members of the Trampoline Programme Management with a request to be trained as a trampoline coach.  He and six little boys travelled twice a week to Pretoria where Hudson received training from the national coach Tiaan van der Walt and the six little boys were coached byTiaan and Helen. Lucky was one of them.

In 2005 the SAGF received Lotto funding to pay school fees for Lucky Radebe and he has maximized on this opportunity, improving his grades and performing well on the world circuit. Lucky has gone on to represent South Africa at the 2001 Trampoline World Age group Championships in Denmark.

He won a gold medal at the 2008 African Gymnastics Championships as well as a gold at the 2008 South African Gym Games in the Trampoline and Double-mini Trampoline Senior International Section. The pinnacle of his achievement was being ranked fourth in the World at the 2008 test event of the World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and also went on to reach the finals of the 2009 World Games, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The Jannie Jansen International Competition begins on 3 March 2010 at the University of Pretoria, Sport Complex. Entrance is free. All members of the public are invited to attend.