Chelseigh Fransch in golden form at nationals
Chelseigh Fransch has made the most of her talent and favourite apparatus to win a gold medal at the New Zealand National GymSports Championships in Napier.
The 16-year-old from the Timaru Gymnastics Club prevailed in the step seven uneven bars.
Fransch said it was a great feeling to have won the national title as she eyed a move to step eight in 2014.
Her uneven bar routine lasted around 20 seconds and involved her performing a routine on a high and low set of bars.
"I was hoping to get first," Fransch said.
"It is my strongest apparatus. I was quite nervous warming up and when I presented to the judges, but during the routine I was quite happy.
The key was keeping her body as steamlined as possible. Straight lines are a positive, while bent knees or closed shoulders could have seen her dip in the rankings.
What made her achievement even more impressive is she had less training time than her rivals.
"I do nine-and-a-half hours a week which is the lowest of anyone competing," she said. "Most do more than 20."
Fransch had been doing gymnastics for the past decade and said step eight may be as far as she goes in the sport. At just 153cm (5ft) tall, she said her small body and long arms did help.
"It's well known gymnastics stunts your growth, so I will grow eventually," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News