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Bianca banks a silver

Our Bianca Budler has come up trumps with a silver medal in the finals of the Double Mini Trampoline Competition at the 27th Trampoline World Championships held in Metz, France — the first trampoline medal for SA since 1982.

Bianca who is the reigning African champion in double mini trampoline and tumbling, qualified for the finals of the double mini trampoline competition with 68.300 points in third place. She went on to win the silver medal in the finals, where she scored 70.300 points behind Canadian Corissa Boychuk who scored 70.500 points.

The Port Elizabeth gymnast was the only gymnast in these World Championships to have entered in the tumbling, trampoline and double mini trampoline events whilst at the same time sitting for her final matric exams. The load turned to be too much for Bianca as she later decided with her coach to withdraw from the trampoline event.

‘It is just too much right now,’ explained Bianca. ‘There are only so many hours in the day, and preparing for three disciplines while trying to focus on school exams at the same time takes its toll.’

Starting in all three events in a world championships is not common, but it does happen every now and then. Training on more than one apparatus is a normal occurrence in many countries because cross-training can be supportive of a gymnast’s evolution in his or her primary discipline. Most gymnasts leave it at that, choosing to focus their energy and time on one discipline. But then there are those who simply don’t want to make that choice.

‘I like all three disciplines, but for me double mini and tumbling are the most enjoyable. They are more explosive and have more power,’ said Bianca. ‘But I will focus more on trampoline in 2011.’

Bianca’s ultimate goal is, of course, the Olympic Games in London in 2012. ‘I believe I have a chance, being from Africa, but I still need to prove myself and show that I belong there,’ says Bianca. ‘That’s what I’ll be doing next year.’

Bianca had her mind set on being in the finals in both tumbling and double mini-trampoline. She unfortunately did not qualify in the tumbling finals, while team mate Kyla Phillips qualified in eighth position with 61.500 points. Phillips then had a good showing in the finals claiming sixth place with 61.300 points.

This competition wraps up a year full of achievements for Bianca that includes three gold medals at the local Jannie Jansen International Competition, seven gold medals at the 2010 African Gymnastics Championships, a gold medal at the Flanders Cup in Belgium, a bronze at a Trampoline World Cup in Belgium, a silver medal at the Loule Cup in Portugal, and a bronze medal at a World Cup Competition in Germany.

Her achievements have not gone unrecognised as she was awarded the South African Tumber of the year Award. She was also granted the status of ÔÇ£World Class GymnastÔÇØ by the International Gymnastics Federation President, Professor Bruno Grandi.

What a set of achievements for an athlete in her matric year!

Reflecting on Bianca’s achievements, High Performance Manager at SAGF, Tseko Mogotsi said, ÔÇ£Bianca is another shining example of the federation’s commitment to help develop South Africa’s gymnasts. It’s especially inspiring that young women such as Bianca Budler and Jennifer Khwela show such courage and perseverance to achieve their goals.ÔÇØ