SA teen Gymnasts leotards 'too revealing'

Glasgow, Scotland - The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) ruled the leotards of seven South African junior gymnasts "too revealing" and forced them to buy new leotards for the Acro Gymnastics World Age Group Championships which take place in Glasgow at the weekend.

"Benoni is too hot for cold and wet Glasgow," Jalna le Roux, one of the gymnasts' mother laughed when she heard the ruling.

"My daughter is only 11 years old and apparently, the flesh-coloured material at the back of the two young gymnasts' leotards were not according to the FIG rules.

FIG had expressed their objection to flesh-coloured material on leotards a long time ago and it is puzzling that gymnasts, coaches and leotard makers are still making use of it.

Thirty two countries gathered in Scotland for the fifth junior and senior Acro gymnastics world championships.

South Africa will be represented by 19 junior gymnasts and the team have been described as the best prepared gymnastics team to attend such a event.

Eastern Gauteng women's group of Petri Geldardt, Isabelle Carr and Chantal Sisosn and Central Gauteng's mixed pairs' Matome Thsishonga and Natalie Friesling are determined o make the finals.

The trio is in top form, but they are competing against 29 other groups.

Friesling is making her international debut while Tshishonga has already won silver in the 1006 Flanders International Acro Cup and also took part in the 2006 Portugal world event.

The Russian delegation, who have close ties with the South Africans, praised the team after a training session.

"South Africa has progressed remarkably since the country first started taking part internationally and we can see the good work that South Africa's three Russian coaches are doing," Alexander Nikolyev said.

Though South Africans do not need visas for the UK, the team was briefly held up in Dubai en route to Glasgow by an airport official who made frantic calls.

"We received instructions to check South African passports," he explained to Zelda Botha, the baffled team manager. - Sapa


sign up