The dual Gold Coast 2018 Games bronze medallist has targeted the upcoming Birmingham Games after her stirring performances at recent international events.
While it has been a challenging past three months, the path to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is becoming a golden road for dual Gold Coast bronze medallist Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva.
After narrowly missing out on qualification for the Australian Team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Melbourne-based gymnast has rebounded with stirring performances at October’s 2021 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup series in Romania and the 2021 world championships in Japan where she was the Commonwealth’s top-ranked competitor.
“It was a very long and difficult journey, overcoming a lot of mental blocks and physical challenges … but I’ve come a long way!” Alexandra told Australian Jewish News about her past three months.
With Gymnastics Australia opting not to send an Australian team to overseas gymnastics tournaments for the remainder of this year due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation allowed individual athletes to travel at their own risk and expense.
This left Alexandra with the difficult decision to forge ahead with her competition plans, and with the support of her family, and her Russian-based coach and mentor Anastasia Mishenina, the 19-year-old decided to embark on the journey.
It would be a journey that would see the teenager travelling to the other side of the world and living alone for months, training for competition while also juggling first-year law degree studies at Monash University.
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“It was definitely not easy… [but I was] very lucky to participate at international events, and beat my personal records,” Alexandra said.
After excelling at the mid-October tournament in Romania that featured 27 international gymnasts, Alexandra posted two personal best scores, and placed 14th in the all-around competition, 12th in hoops, 13th in ball, 14th in ribbon, and 17th in clubs.
On social media after those performances, she wrote, “we compete, we conquer, we grow”, adding she was pleased to have posted the highest Australian score of 22.7 for a hoops routine at an international meet.
“But more than that, I am happy to have an opportunity to compete, and I am getting stronger and reaching new heights,” Alexandra continued.
“Thanks to everyone who is with me on my rhythmic gymnastics journey”
Her performances in Romania earned selection for the 2021 world championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, where, against the world’s best, her highest placing was an impressive 29th in a field of 63 in hoops.
She also came 36th in All-Around, and importantly, finished as the highest-placed athlete out of the Commonwealth countries, while also improving her world ranking.
Alexandra summed up her overseas experience and results this way upon her return to Melbourne earlier this month just in time to sit for her end-of-year university exams.
“It was a great step ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Alexandra said.
“And I’ve met new, amazing people and saw a lot of old friends.”