Fantao Fu and Xinyi Fan completed a double victory for China in the men’s and women’s categories of the trampoline gymnastics on day 8 at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. Australian Jessica Pickering provided further inspiration by overcoming her fears to finish with a silver medal on the women's podium.
In men's trampoline, China had never won the title at the Youth Olympic Games until Fantao, 17, filled this gap in front of a packed American Pavilion. His performance was solid. He was awarded 15,400 for difficulty and 16,700 for execution – 16,430 for the time spent in the air and 9,500 for its horizontal displacement – which allowed him to win with a total of 58,030.
Britain's Andrew Stamp, who achieved the highest score in execution (17.100), took the silver medal with a score of 57.475. Austria's Benny Wizani, who spent the most time in the air (17.030) finished third. Belarusian Ivan Litvinoich, who took first place in qualifications, made some minor mistakes and finished fourth.
The women's competition ended with victory for Fan, which means China remain undefeated in this event at the YOG after the titles won by Dong Yu in Singapore in 2010 and Zhu Xueying in Nanjing in 2014. “We do not have a secret formula for trampoline in China, it all comes down to the work, dedication, and love of the sport,” said Fan. “Today I showed what I can do and I'm very happy with this result.”
Second behind Fan in the silver medal position was Pickering, who was found dancing before entering the stage to take her turn to the tune Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off. Swift’s song could not have been more appropriate.
“I had to wait a little while before competing, so I thought I’d just dance a bit,” said Pickering, who shimmied, shook and jumped around the competition floor moments before her final routine.
“The song they played, Shake it Off, was related to my nerves. I really had to shake it all off, because I was really nervous.”
Pickering’s moves did the trick to ease her jitters as she landed on the podium in second position.
“To have a silver medal around my neck is absolutely fantastic,” she said.
Pickering was “super stoked” to make the finals and did not even expect to win a medal, admitting that she struggled to hold her nerves right before executing her first big move in the routine.
“To be honest, I was quite shaky in the bounces before my first actual somersault, which is the triple somersault with half turn. I went from side-to-side in the bounces before starting my routine and decided to jump on the mat and start all over.”
“It was a good decision because I was less shaky and my routine was super strong.”
Afterwards, Pickering bounced over to the corner, waving and smiling to the camera, while waiting for her score. She sprung up when she saw the result coming through – her 51.645 points had just propelled her to the gold-medal position.
It did not take long before the gold turned to silver, though, as Fan scored 52.560 points to take the top spot. Russia’s Vera Beliankina scored 51.435 to take the bronze.
The gymnastics competition at Buenos Aires 2018 will continue on Monday 15 October with artistic and acrobatic gymnastics finals. These finals will commence at 17:00 in the America Pavilion.