Queanbeyan Gymnastics twirls towards Nationals

Queanbeyan YMCA gymnasts Kayla Cragg and Vera Chalneva will travel to Melbourne next Tuesday for the national gymnastics championships. Photo: Joshua Matic.

Queanbeyan YMCA gymnasts Kayla Cragg and Vera Chalneva will travel to Melbourne next Tuesday for the national gymnastics championships. Photo: Joshua Matic.

QUEANBEYAN YMCA gymnastics will field the city's latest young national competitors at the end of the month, with prodigies Vera Chalneva and Kayla Cragg selected in the New South Wales team for the Australian Gymnastics Championships.

The two girls will travel to Melbourne to compete in the event which runs from May 28 to June 1.

Both have been chosen to represent their state in the discipline of rhythmic gymnastics, where they will perform on the floor in ball, ribbon, club and hoop techniques on a national stage.

It comes after both qualified at three events in Sydney with two NSW state trials and the NSW Championships.

Chalneva took a silver medal at the Championships, while Cragg took out a bronze.

Gymnastics competition is split into elite and non-elite categories, with the latter made up of levels 1-10 depending skill level and experience.

Thirteen-year old Cragg will be competing in front of a national audience for the first time in her short life to date in the level seven category, and told The Queanbeyan Age she was not sure what to expect.

"It makes me nervous," she said with a smile and a laugh.

"You're not representing Queanbeyan anymore, you're representing NSW, and that's pretty cool. It'll be my first time representing NSW."

Seventeen year-old level ten athlete Chalneva carries more experience with her, having competed at the national tournament in Sydney two years ago in the junior elite division.

But despite already having the experience, she said she could still be faced with some surprises competing in a different category this time around.

"I've only done it once and I'm on level 10, so you never know. It's exciting," she said.

"It's always different...I was in junior international back then [last national appearance in 2012]."

Both girls train each Friday and Saturday, and follow the Queanbeyan Little Athletics Centre to Melbourne as the latest under 18 athletes from Queanbeyan to compete at a Nationals event.

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