Sun | Jan 21, 2018

There were mistakes, but I'm proud, says Jamaican gymnast

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2016 | 10:24 AM
Toni-Ann Williams
Toni-Ann Williams

Andre Lowe, Special Projects Editor - Sports

Toni-Ann Williams must wait to see if she has advanced but says she is "happy and excited" after becoming Jamaica's first representative in Gymnastics at the Olympic Games.

Competing at the Rio Olympic Arena this morning, Williams, who tallied a combined score of 50.966 points, got off to a good start in her Artistic Gymnastics competition with a solid 13.200 score in her floor exercise routine.

"That was my favourite," she told The Gleaner, while admitting that several mistakes might have cost her another three points or so.

"I am very excited, I know there were some mistakes here and there but overall I am very happy to have represented Jamaica. I hope the kids back in Jamaica can see that they can do whatever they want in gymnastics and hopefully my performance today can be a trailblazer for the sport and keep the programme going  in Jamaica," she said.

Williams showed good use of the floor and was technically sound throughout, ending her routine with the Usain Bolt 'To Di Worl' pose, to the delight of the crowd inside the Rio Olympic Arena.

Her performance on the vault apparatus was also solid, scoring 14.100 after a fairly clean landing.

The Jamaican, however, had some difficulties on the uneven bars apparatus, losing momentum during an attempted cross-over on the upper bar and landing badly to score 11.533 to take her combined tally to 38.8333 points.

She ended her competition with another strong performance on the balance beam in a show of poise and control, before dismounting with a double front flip. She is the only person in the world, who currently uses that method.

Williams will has to wait until the completion of the qualifying round past 10 p.m. (8 p.m. Jamaica time) to see if she has achieved enough points to advance.