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Commonwealth Games duo shine in Azerbaijan

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Two of South Africa’s gymnasts going to Gold Coast, Australia for next month’s Commonwealth Games had a great warm-up in Baku, Azerbaijan at the weekend. MARK ETHERIDGE reports.

A team of three – Claudia Cummins, Naveen Daries and Angie Maguire – took part in a World Cup apparatus event.

Cummins and Daries will be part of Team South Africa at the Gold Coast Games.

Cummins, also part of Team SA at the last Commonwealth Games, narrowly missed the vault and floor finals, placing ninth in both events. The top eight in each apparatus go through to the finals.

At 16, Daries is the youngest of the trio, and made the vault and bar finals where she placed seventh and fourth respectively. Maguire qualified as fourth best for the beam final where she went on to place fifth.

Johannesburg’s Daries improved her vault score by 0.3 points and her bar score by almost 0.6 points

The two competitors head east for the Commonwealth Games next week while Maguire continues with her preparations for the African Championships in Namibia from 6-13 May.

Ilse Roets will be the gymnastics coach for Team SA and was excited about the Commonwealth Games duo’s display.

‘I’m very happy with our girls’ performances in Baku. Claudia had some unfortunate mistakes, which I know she will improve on for the Games, but Naveen and Angela did really well in both the qualifying competition and the finals.

‘I’m excited about the future of South African gymnastics and proud of our progress.’

In the picture are (left to right): Daries, Cummins and Maguire


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