Hours of training paid off for Waitara gymnasts Nikita Mischewski and Holly Smith when they competed in two international events in Hawaii recently.
The two qualified for the New Zealand team, that was coached by Waitara's Shirley Baker, at the nationals in Blenheim last year.
The first competition, the Gymnastics in Paradise invitational, included teams from Hawaii, Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
Mischewski finished second overall with a first on the vault, second on the bar, third on the beam and a fourth on the floor. Smith finished fourth overall with a fifth on the vault, fourth on the bar and a fifth on the beam and floor.
They joined the other New Zealand level 8 team members to win the trophy for first-placed team at the competition.
The second competition, the Aloha Gymfest, included teams from Hawaii, Australia, the United States, Canada, Guam, Japan and New Zealand.
At this competition, Smith finished fifth on the vault, fourth on the bar and sixth on the beam and floor to be placed fifth overall.
Mischewski finished fifth on the floor, sixth on the bar and seventh on the vault and beam to be placed sixth overall.
Baker said the girls trained 15-plus hours a week year-round to reach the standard required to qualify for the team and compete to a high standard regionally, nationally and internationally.
"The girls are now training for this year's competition season, which starts in May," Baker said.
"Their next goal will be to qualify for the New Zealand team to compete in Australia in September."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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