Sun | Sep 26, 2021

Gymnast Francis thrilled with routine’s feedback

Published:Saturday | April 6, 2019 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming

Danusia Francis re-introduced Jamaica’s gymnastics on the global stage when she dazzled the world with a unique routine at the Superstars of Gymnastics event on March 23 in London.

Francis’ routine, which included the bag-pack dance move and a stunt that saw her hanging upside down underneath the balance beam, captivated many persons, who quickly shared videos of the 25-year-old’s performance online.

She got perfect scores on three of the four events, and after the competition, she was overwhelmed with congratulatory messages and questions about Jamaica taking part in gymnastics.

“Just to wake and see all the support and loads of people putting my routine to dancehall and reggae music and the love and the support was a huge honour,” Francis said. “A lot of persons didn’t even know that Jamaica is involved in gymnastics, and we have been doing a lot of work behind the scene, so now to put the sport in the spotlight again is everything we have been working for.”

Francis has been moving up the world ranking in the sport since the event as she has moved into the top 30 for the first time.

She is also scheduled to represent the country at the World Championships and Pan American Games this summer.

“I am hoping to get on the podium at the Pan American Games and try my best at the World Championships because there, it is going to bit a lot more difficult,” she said.

Francis switched allegiance from Great Britain to represent Jamaica, the home of her father, after graduating from the University of California Los Angeles.

“I went to university in America and I still wanted to compete internationally, but it was too hard for me to make the training and the various competitions that you have to do for Great Britain, so because I am half-Jamaican, I decided to represent Jamaica and I have always wanted to be on the same team as Usain Bolt because he has been my idol for a long time,” she said.

Jamaica was first represented in Gymnastics at the Olympic Games three years ago by Toni-Ann Williams.

– A.M.