SA's Zoonekynd into world finals with second-best score | TeamSA - TeamSA
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SA’s Zoonekynd into world finals with second-best score

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By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s Bianca Zoonekynd has roared into the finals of the double-mini trampoline event at the World Trampoline gymnastic championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Still finding her feet after a dreadful car crash three months ago, the little Port Elizabeth powerhouse qualified for the final as second best competitor on Friday.

Her score of 69.300 saw her just 0.600 points behind Russia’s Polina Troianova for Sunday’s final.

Zoonekynd was unable to make the final in the tumbling on Thursday as she ended 23rd of 33 qualifiers but the double-mini is where the 25-year-old really comes into her own and she’s got a very real shot at a medal for the rainbow nation.

‘So yesterday was a real surprise,’ she told the Team SA website. ‘I did have a good warm-up but I still got into the competition pretty nervous.

‘After my first routine which was terrible and I landed out of the red block I thought I had no chance of making the final so for my second routine we [her and mom/coach Mandy] decided to go big seeing as I had nothing to lose.’

The daring option paid off handsomely though.

‘I pulled off highest difficulty in the prelim round and the highest score in the ladies comp which was great.

‘The risk paid off and it landed me into second place in prelims.

‘I’m so very grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to come here and compete and am blessed to have made finals after the year I’ve had.

‘Hard work and pushing hard through both good and bad times has really paid off.

‘I’ve done more than I expected and also more than I think everyone thought I would. I know my prelim routines weren’t great at all so now I have just got to stay focused and do another two routines.’

Zoonekeynd, who broke two ribs and punctured a lung in the August car crash says her body felt surprisingly healthy. ‘It’s feeling good right now but I have training a little later and we’ll see how it “really” feels then,’ she said.

SA’s other competitor in the double mini was Offering Tlaka who ended 23rd in the men’s competition. He had a score of 69.100 to end 23rd of 40 starters and outside the eight automatic qualifiers.

Picture of Zoonekynd and coach Mandy courtesy of Acrobatic Sports


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