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Former World Games duo make finals in Florida
- Updated: November 11, 2014
Former World Games competitors Bianca Zoonekynd and Lucky Radebe both made the finals at the 2014 World Tumbling and Trampoline Championships in Florida, writes Mark Etheridge.
Zoonekynd, part of Team SA at last year’s World Games in Cali, Colombia, took sixth in the Double Mini Trampoline final while Radebe ended seventh in the final of the same discipline. He was part of the SA team at the previous World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 2009.
For Zoonekynd who picked up a silver medal in both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships, it would have been particularly disappointing.
She was also a favourite at the World Games but mistakes on her first routine meant that no matter how good her second effort was, would still not be able to boost her into podium contention.
So it was deja vu in Daytona Beach for the plucky Port Elizabeth gymnast.
Said mom and coach, Mandy: ‘She finished sixth after getting a zero for that first routine. Very disappointed once again, when you know you’re the best and just can’t finish it.’
Zoonekynd junior, as ever, was philosophical: ‘Everything happens for a reason. It sucks and feels like a failure but it only makes me stronger and want it more.’
She went on to thank her support team and team-mates. ‘ I’d like to thank everyone for their love and support. thanks to the best teammates ever for a awesome trip. We have all learnt something and are keen to get home and train harder! Thanks to my mom and brother for all the coaching they have put into me. Lee [brother], soon I’ll win that gold so mom can retire.’
For the record Zoonekynd, qualified as second best in the preliminary rounds with a total of 69.00 but after her zero mark in the final’s first routine, ended with a misleading tally of 34.700.
Radebe went into the finals after placing sixth in the prelims (72.800) and in the final he notched up 57.700.
‘I was very disappointed at myself because I didn’t achieve what I planned and was hoping for at least top five or even closer to the medal, but I guess competition was really too intense and guys were all going big or going home.
‘I really delivered what I could deliver but it was just not good enough and I messed up on my second pass as well. But one thing I really told myself is that I’m not going to let this break my spirit but instead learn from my mistake and make a massive comeback next year, I don’t mean just make finals but I really want to stand on that podium.’
The two other gymnasts for South Africa at worlds were Offering Tlaka and Jean-Jacques Viviers.
Tlaka came 11th in the DMR prelims while Viviers ended 32nd in the DMT.