The girls who are going to make us proud: a look at Greece’s worlds team

If for the men’s gymnastics team, placing in the top 16 is a reachable goal, for the women’s team it’s going to take a performance that exceeds everyone’s expectations. Can our seven athletes make it? There’s one thing for certain, they will do the best they can possibly do. It is not impossible that this is going to be enough  for at least the Test Event

Vaso Millousi, Ioanna Xoulogi, Valia Plyta, Argyro Afrati, Maria Simou, Evagelia Monokrousou and the reserve, Miropi Christophilaki are working hard in the training center of Agios Kosmas having training sessions beyond human endurance every day. Only those who watch a training session of the national team members can understand how difficult and painful the sport of gymnastics is. Sportsfeed witnessed the pain, the persistence and the willpower of those girls, talked with them and is now bringing you images from their painful training. It really is a shame that those athletes (and of course, the male athletes too) don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Unfortunately, in Greece, we forget that gymnastics, along with track and fiend and swimming are the most popular sports of the Olympic Games and the tickets are sold out from the very first moments they become available.

Vaso Millousi

“First of all, our preparation has been going very well and the last competition in Hungary also proved the same thing and I think I am better prepared than any other time. It’s one more pre Olympics world championships and the goal definitely is a very strong All Around performance, which could put me among the top 24 athletes. Last year, I was the first reserve and this year I want to be in the All Around finals as well as the balance beam finals. My training has been great. If I had the training conditions they have in other countries we would definitely be having a different conversation. Considering what we have, training has gone very well. For one more time, we will have to say that we work under very difficult circumstances, without proper preparation, while all the other countries are competing in meets against each other, have gotten to know each other, and they have shown their programs to the judges, since there is always human judgement in our sport. Lots of times we wonder: “why am I not in the finals even though I executed my routine well” and unfortunately there are lots of factors that determine that. This is why I am planning to execute my program extremely well so I don’t give any reason why I should not be in the finals. If everything goes well, I think that it is going to be enough. Regarding the team, we want to do the best we can possibly do. The top 16 is a difficult goal, it is more reachable for the men but it is very difficult for us, so we each of us starts doing the best she can. When there is a team and you do your best, this helps the rest of your teammates too. It definitely helps me when my teammates do well and vice versa.”

Maria Simou

“Our preparation has gone pretty well despite the fact that we didn’t perform in competitions. We would all be happy if we take a spot in the top 16 and qualify to the test event. It is not impossible. We will need a great performance with team work, focus and calmness and we can achieve it”

Evangelia Plyta

“The main goal is that everything will turn out well and that we will fight for a spot among the teams who will go to the Test Event of Brazil”

Evangelia Monokrousou

“I want to do the best I can so I can help the team be as close as possible to our goal, which is the top 16”

It’s important to remember that in the world championships of Glasgow the athletes can earnd the first tickets to the Olympic Games of 2016 through the team qualifications and through the event finals. If our national teams finish in the spots 17-24 of the team competition, then, we will have the right to send two male and two female athletes, who will compete All Around at the pre Olympic Test Event, which will take place in Rio from the 16th to the 24th of April. 40 female and 40 males athletes will participate in the competition, and at least 18 men and 24 women, but only one from each country, will qualify to the Olympics.

Original article in Greek is here. It is written by Sevasti Vrakasteli (vrakatseli@sportsfeed.gr) for sportsfeed.gr

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