Black shelves 2017 glory in favour of team success in Doha
DOHA: Elsabeth (Ellie) Black became Canada’s first Worlds all-around medalist after she won a silver medal at home last year.
However, the 23-year-old is not tasking herself with repeating history at the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships that starts on Thursday at the Aspire Dome.
“Our priority for these Worlds is much different from the last editions, which were for individuals,” Black told www.worldgymdoha18.com after the training session. “Here starts the (2020) Olympic qualification for the teams. Our mindset is very much the team focus.”
Black has mentally shelved her 2017 medal, especially knowing that the path to team qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begins here.
“It was incredible to have that performance in Canada, but you have to put it in a box, cherish the memory and move on to the next competition,” she added. “I’m really looking forward to getting back out here with the team. That’s my favourite competition.”
Black’s top individual rivals will include defending all-around champion Morgan Hurd of the US, three-time world all-around champion Simone Biles of the US and 2010 world all-around champion Aliya Mustafina of the Russian Federation.
Neither Biles nor Mustafina competed in Montreal, but Black eagerly welcomes their return to competition and the challenge they offer to her in the Qatari capital.
“I know them and they are super-nice,” Black said. “Everyone works really hard and you want everyone to do their best, so I’m excited to get out there and compete with everyone again. It’s really exciting that girls are sticking around longer. You’ve seen those amazing gymnasts coming back, and any time you get to compete with the top gymnasts in the world, it’s a great experience.”