With less than a week to go until the 2019 Artistic World Championships gets underway in Stuttgart, Germany, the opportunity to qualify a place at the 2020 Olympic Games gets ever closer.
The Championships signal the latest chance for our gymnasts to qualify team places for the Games. Our men’s and women’s teams will need to qualify inside the top nine in order to do so (excluding the three teams - China, Russia and Japan - that have already qualified).
Joe Fraser is one of the gymnasts aiming to help the men’s team do just that. He’s now an experienced gymnast at the top level, and he’s excited by the prospect of competing, and potentially guaranteeing a place for the British team at the Olympics.
"We’ve been working really hard. We had a training camp in Germany a week or so ago and had a competition while we were out there. We were training alongside their World Championship team, so it was good to bounce off them and see how we’re training compared to them.
"We were training in their national centre which is one of the best gyms in the world, so to be able to train there, and have the equipment there that we’re going to be competing on; it was a great opportunity for us to be able to get used to that early on. It’s a really exciting time."
Amongst the excitement, the team are keen to show what they’ve working on. The men’s team compete in qualifying next Monday (7th October) and the opportunity to qualify for the Games is one that they’re desperate to take.
"Everyone’s really focussed to achieve as much as we can. We all know that the main focus is qualifying a team for the Olympics, and everyone’s gunning for that. We’re all pushing each other to get the best result, and I truly believe we’re capable of doing it. I’m looking forward to potentially achieving that goal.
"Everyone gets nervous, but it’s part of the game. We’ve done so many competitions, you get used to it, and take it in your stride. I’ll be more excited than I will be nervous when it comes to compete next Monday."