Tasmanian pair chosen for national youth team

TASMANIAN junior trampoline gymnasts  Aidan Collins and Hugh McConnell will represent Australia at the  Australian Youth Olympic Festival   at Sydney's Olympic Park from January 15 to 20.

Athletes from Australia, China,  Britain  and New Zealand will take part.

This will be the second time that Tasmania has had representatives on the AYOF gymnastics team, with Jack Penny representing Australia in 2007.

McConnell, 15, of Hobart, is the top Australian qualifier, winning the team trial held in November in Melbourne.  

He is also the junior men's national champion for trampoline and synchronised trampoline. 

Collins, 16, of Launceston, placed third at the national championships and fourth at the 2012 IndoPacific championships.

State coach  Ben Kelly, who is also part of the Australian team for this event, was confident of the young gymnasts' ability to rise to the challenge. 

``New Zealand's Dylan Schmidt is one of the best junior trampoline gymnasts in the world and will be hard to beat _  however, the Chinese are also world leaders at the senior level with very little known about their junior development athletes,'' Kelly said.

This competition will be a stepping stone to the World Youth Olympics next year.

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