The 2016 Olympic Games may be on the horizon, but four-time Commonwealth gymnastics champion Claudia Fragapane is already looking forward to facing the Australian’s at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Winning four gold medals in Glasgow, the 18 year old appreciates how crucial the Commonwealth Games has been for not only her career, but also for the development of gymnastics.
“Glasgow 2014 was pretty incredible. I wasn’t expecting to win four golds; we were just hoping to get the team gold and then the other three just slipped in. The crowd were amazing and it was a fantastic experience.
“After competing there, everyone started watching more gymnastics, it has opened people’s eyes to how hard we work and it is nice to see people come and watch us now.”
Following on from her success in Glasgow, Fragapane is looking forward to taking part in one of the most hotly contested global rivalries in 2018; England vs Australia.
“Australia has some incredible gymnasts and has its own special, unique routines that we look forward to seeing and we can’t wait to take them on in their own back yard. There are of course plenty of other nations, but this rivalry is a massive one across all sports.
“I have always wanted to go to Australia so hopefully I will make it there and it will be a really great experience.”
Fragapane acknowledges the importance of Team England in her development as a young athlete and how focused Team England is on developing the next generation of English talent.
“Team England has been really supportive throughout my career, particularly in Glasgow where the village was fantastic. They had all the recovery requirements and physios we needed and were there if we needed anything.”
The importance of Team England has been recently highlighted following the recent appointment of Denise Lewis as President of Commonwealth Games England, a significant appointment in Fragapane’s eyes.
“It’s really important to have Denise join Team England. She did some incredible things throughout her career and understands what we, as athletes, are going through and will be able to support us through her experience so we are really grateful that she has joined.”