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Orlando poised to equal record

25 Mar 06 22:52

Alexandra Orlando poised for a Canadian gold medal record performance.

Alexandra Orlando poised for a Canadian gold medal record performance.

Canadian Alexandra Orlando has a chance to equal the record of six gold medals in a single Commonwealth Games, when she competes in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Apparatus Finals today at the Rod Laver Arena.

Day three of the competitions will feature each of the Ribbon, Rope, Clubs and Ball Apparatus Finals.

The 19-year-old is competing in her first Commonwealth Games and after winning gold in the Team and All-Around Finals, her confidence is soaring.

“I think I can do it. Hopefully everything will fall into place,” she said.

If she achieves the highest score in each of the four apparatus, she will equal the record set by Australians Susie O’Neill and Ian Thorpe of six gold medals in a single Commonwealth Games.

Before competition Orlando said she hoped to emulate her role model—Canada’s Erika Lee Stirton—who won five Commonwealth Games gold medals in Rhythmic Gymnastics at Kuala Lumpur 1998.

"Erika is a huge inspiration to me and still will be—even if I do win six golds. However, I'm growing into myself more and maybe one day people will aspire to be like me," Orlando said.

Orlando said the Rope is her worst apparatus and she will face some stiff competition from the Malaysian competitors, and her Canadian teammates.

Orlando’s main rival is Malaysian Durratun Nashihin Rosli who qualified second with a score of 13.075. The 17-year-old Rosli won silver in the All-Around Final with a score of 13.275 and is likely to be Orlando’s toughest competition in the Apparatus Finals.

Canada’s Yana Tsikaridze finished second in the Rope Apparatus at the 2005 Canadian Nationals and is also a medal chance after qualifying third.

Tsikaridze is also ready to take a medal in the Ball as she and Orlando are the standout qualifiers for the Ball Apparatus Final.

Australian Naazmi Johnston qualified third in the Ball with 12.675 and is also looking good for a medal.

Orlando’s threats in the Clubs come from Malaysia’s Rosli again, who scored 13.300 in the qualifying round, and Australia’s Kimbley Mason who qualified with 13.075.

Orlando only scored 12.950 in the Ribbon Event although she was the top qualifier in this event. Her team mate Yana Tsikaridze qualified second with a score of 12.050.

Malaysia’s Wen Chean Lim also shouldn’t be overlooked. Lim has performed consistently well, qualifying with the third best score of 11.975 in Ribbon Apparatus.

The dark horse in this event is Cypriot Raissa Panagiotou, who qualified fourth with a score of 11.475 in Ribbon.

For results and competition details go to the Gymnastics - Rhythmic section of this Website.

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