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Lions grab 47 medals

Twenty acro gymnasts of Golden Lions Gymnastics in Newlands, Johannesburg, representing Central Gauteng, will leave the Mother City with at least one gold medal each after the conclusion of the code’s event at the South African National Championships which formed part of the 2011 Gym Games at the Bellville Velodrome.

The Gauteng gymnasts won an incredible 47 gold medals and two silver medals. Two weeks ago, six of the club’s gymnasts won five gold medals and two silver medals at the annual Gutenberg International Cup in Mainz-Laubenheim, Germany.

Matome Tshishonga and Natalie Friesling also won the trophy for scoring the highest points in Germany. “I am happy with our performance, but there still is room for improvement,” said coach Natalia von Willigh.

According to Von Willigh, the World Championships and 2012 World Age Group Games (WAGG) are scheduled for April in Orlando, Florida and seven of the club’s gymnasts will try and qualify for the event.

“Our goal is for Matome and Natalie to make the finals at the World Championships and qualify for SASCOCs Operation Excellence funding in order to prepare for the 2013 Columbia World Games. Malik Baatjies and Emilio Abreu finished fourth in the (11-16) men’s pair section at the WAGG in 2010 in Poland and will compete for a medal next year,” she said.

Th only time South African gymnasts have won a medal at the WAGG, was when two Golden Lions Gymnastics’ gymnasts, Jolien Dreyer and Monique Steglen, surprisingly won gold in the (11-16) women’s pair section in Lievin, France in 2004.


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