Saturday 14 July 2012

So Close Saturday

Daniele Hypolito

At the age of 27, Daniele Hypolito of Brazil is about to take part in her 4th Olympic Games. Having been a star of Brazilian gymnastics for over ten years, Daniele is still going strong. She took her first National title as a junior in 1996 and her most recent one only last year at the 2011 Brazilian National Championships, ahead of a field of much younger gymnasts.

Daniele has been a regular member of the Brazilian National Team since 1999 when she attended her first World Championships. Although she only finished 27th in the all around competition she did help the team to qualify a full team for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She then proceeded to compete in her first Olympic Games where she finished 20th in the all around final.

2001 was a big year for Daniele. She took part in the 2001 World Championships where she placed 4th in the all around competition. At this time, it was the highest ever all around finish for a Brazilian gymnast. She then went on to win Brazil's first ever medal by taking the Silver in the floor final.

In 2003, Daniele was injured during the all around competition at the 2003 World Championships, though she had helped the team yet again to qualify a full team for the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens. She competed well in Athens, her second Olympics, helping the team to a 9th place result and finishing 12th in the all around competition. In the following years she continued competing well, earning herself a 9th place all around finish in the 2005 World Championships and helping the team to a highest ever 5th place at the 2007 World Championships. In 2008 Daniele took part in her third Olympic Games, already becoming one of only a handful of female gymnasts to achieve this.

After a couple of relatively quiet years, Daniele started to improve to become yet again a star of the team rather than being in the background. She once again became the Brazilian National Champion in both 2010 and 2011, and placed 18th all around in the 2010 World Championships and 13th In the 2011 World Championships. She took part in the London 2012 Test Event at the beginning of the year where she helped the team qualify for the Olympic Games. Individually, she placed 8th all around and qualified for both the vault and floor finals where she came 4th and 8th respectively.

So what can we expect from Daniele in what will be her 4th Olympic Games? With such a wealth of experience and training it would be wonderful to see a good result from this amazing gymnast who, despite all her achievements over the years, has only one major world medal from 2001. Her recent achievements at the National Championships suggest that we may be in for some good performances from the 27 year old.

But Daniele has already let it be known that she will not be content with a mere four Olympic Games. With the 2016 Olympics being held in Rio, she has said that she would love to compete once more and retire in front of a home crowd. I would like to wish Daniele good luck in London and on her journey to Rio and wish her every success.

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