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Trampolinist sets sights on Tokyo Olympics

Getting to the Olympics is a dream many athletes aspire to, and for one South Australian trampolinist the steps are starting to fall into place.

Adelaide athlete Claire Arthur has dedicated most of her life to gymnastics and is determined to represent her country at the Olympics.

"I've been preparing … not only my whole life, but more specifically within the last two to three years since the last Olympics," the 22-year-old said.

Arthur started in gymnastics aged four, and turned to trampolining when she was 11.

It wasn't long until she was selected for the state's high-performance squad.

Claire Arthur

Arthur finished just shy of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics and was unsure about her chances for Tokyo.

This week she got a boost when it was confirmed she had made the team for the world championships in Russia next month.

"Given my scores from the two qualifying events, I knew that I had placed and scored quite well, but there's never any guarantee as to whether you're going to qualify or not," she said.

"Hearing the news that I had qualified and been selected for both the individual and the synchronized events was really, really exciting."

Trampoline athlete Claire Arthur competing at the 2013 world championships.

Australian trampolinists hamstrung by lack of money

With less than two years left until Tokyo, Arthur trains every day — sometimes twice a day — both on the trampoline and in strength and conditioning.

But she said trampolining was not a career option for Australian athletes, rather, it was an expensive hobby.

"Unfortunately there isn't any money in trampolining as a sport — as a career it's not really an option in Australia," she said.

"Overseas in different countries like China and Russia they are employed and paid as athletes, which is a different story."

Trampoline athletes Claire Arthur and Cassie Hoare with their coach Viktor Zhuravlev.

Retired Olympian and SA Trampoline Junior Elite Talent Squad coach Viktor Zhuravlev said the sport of trampolining was a big challenge for athletes.

"It's very technical, you've got to have a good understanding of surroundings and basically have a good coordination to perform well on the trampoline, also there is physical component, there is aerobic component," Zhuravlev said.

"It takes time to prepare an Olympian, but we try to concentrate not just on qualifying for the Olympics, we try to get a certain result."

Original Article

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