The sport of basketball appears to be making slow but certain headway as far as staging the long-awaited National Basketball Championships is concerned.
Marissa Dick, T&T’s top female gymnast, is now ranked 50th in the world, the highest ever for a national athlete in the sport.
The achievement came during the 44th World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics held from 30 September to 6 October in Antwerp, Belgium. The Championships was well attended with 147 participants from 59 countries.
Dick, who is just 16 years old and competing in her first World Championships, achieved an all around score of 49.232 which ranked her in 50th place in the world. The competition was very fierce with scores going to the thousandth place to separate the gymnasts.
Dick’s most outstanding performance came on her best event, the Balance Beam, with a score of 12.733 which earned her 38th place. This was higher than notable London Olympians like American McKayla Marone, Great Britian’s Rebecca Tunney, Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz and Japan’s Asuka Teramoto.
According to T&T Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) president Ricardo Lue Shue, Dick’s performance means that T&T now has a legitimate contender for the 2016 Olympic Games, as well as the potential to make a final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 CAC Games and 2015 Pan Am Games.
Lue Shue said his organisation was extremely proud of Dick’s achievement and thanked the Ministry of Sport and the Sports Company for their continued support. SporTT covered the cost of airfare and stipends for Dick and three others from Capital City Gymnastics Club (coach, assistant coach/chaperone, physiotherapist) as well as a TTGF representative, for the World Championships in Belgium.
Dick trains at Capital City Gymnastics Club in Edmonton, Canada and is back at the gym with her Romanian coach, Ovidiu Serban who is already planning to increase her difficulty on all four events (Balance Beam, Vault, Floor Exercise and Uneven Bars). More difficulty means a higher All Around start value. This will give her the potential to score higher which is needed to break into the top 30 in the world.
In 2012, as a junior, Dick competed at the Pan American Apparatus Championships in Medellin, Colombia and placed 15th All Around out of 35 gymnasts. She made it to the final on Floor and Vault and eventually placed 7th on both events.
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