SA gymnast prepares for world games


Bianca Zoonekynd, a South African individual and double-mini trampolinist, flag-bearer and athletics representative for South Africa, is gearing up for the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland, in July.

After having recently competed in the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) Trampoline Gymnastics World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, and taking home bronze for South Africa, the 25-year-old from Port Elizabeth is hoping to inspire more athletes to take up the sport.

“I’m nervous but really excited for the games in July. I have competed before and it was a lot of fun,” said Zoonekynd.

“I love what I do and I’m always looking at how other athletes push themselves; it makes me push myself even more and I hope that aspiring athletes see what I do and get inspired to become involved in this sport.”

Zoonekynd’s mother and coach, Mandy Zoonekynd, launched Mandy’s School of Tumbling and Trampoline in 1998 in Port Elizabeth. Since then, the club has produced around 15 national tumblers and trampolinists, including Bianca Zoonekynd, who brought home South Africa’s first world medal in 16 years.

“I was very young and crawling in diapers around my mom’s gym, so I guess that’s where it all began for me,” laughed Zoonekynd.

She is currently ranked second in the world for gymnastic tumbling and is the world record holder for gymnastics’ double mini.

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Nikita Fernandes

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