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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Gymnastics Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Gymnastics six of the best
Alexander Jeltkov
Jeltkov is expected to battle it out with Rizzo
BBC Sport Online tips six gymnasts to shine in all disciplines this summer.


Kanukai Jackson (England)

Injuries have blighted Jackson's progress since the World Championships in Ghent last October.

Kanukai Jackson
Jackson should stretch the opposition

But slowly England's leading male medal hopeful has recaptured his fitness and his form.

The 2000 British champion has since impressed at the Cottbus Grand Prix in Germany and the Stella Zaharova.

He is arguably the favourite for gold in the vault and should contend for England in the all-around.


Alexander Jeltkov (Canada)

Jeltkov, with Philippe Rizzo, should be the main protagonist in all the disciplines in Manchester.

He has already clinched a world championship silver on the high bar, where he regularly battles with Rizzo and their European rivals for the top spot.

The 24-year-old started his gymnastics career at the age of five in Georgia, where he was born.

He has since moved with his family across to Canada and looks a strong bet for individual as well as overall medals.


Kate Richardson (Canada)

The 1998 Canadian junior champion proved she had stepped up to the senior stage by taking the national title in 2001.

She has already impressed in front of the toughest of opponents - she finished 15th at the 2000 Olympics in the all-around.

And she followed that up with 16th in last year's worlds.

Currently ranked in the world's top 25, she is expected to be her country's leading competitor in Manchester.


Philippe Rizzo (Australia)

Unfortunately for his future Commonwealth Games rivals, the 21-year-old will probably not hit the peak of his abilities until the 2006 event.

But already he looks to have the making of his fellow competitors and is probably the favourite for the gold.

He boasts a strong pedigree - his father was an Olympic gymnast for France while his brother is a double national champion.

Rizzo is at his best on the high bar, where he has capably taken on the world's best and beaten them in the past.


Allana Slater (Australia)

The 18-year-old led the all-around competition in Kuala Lumpur four years ago with one rotation left in the competition.

Allana Slater
Slater is the favourite for the all-around

She was just pushed into second place but came away with gold in the team competition and a second silver in the floor exercise.

Currently capable of matching the world's best, she is Australia's most prolific ever gymnast on the world stage.

She took up the sport at Kindy Gym to overcome early breathing problems as a child.

Her best performance against the leading Europeans saw her come ninth in the 1999 world championships.


Elizabeth Tweddle (England)

She only recently turned 17 but the teenager from Liverpool has shown plenty of expertise this season.

Her finest recent display came at the Cottbus Grand Prix where she won in the uneven bars discipline.

The gymnast known as Tweds has struggled in some of the other disciplines - the beam her professed least favourite.

As such, she may struggle in the overall event although has impressed in recent big competitions.


Other contenders

Among the others to watch out for in the men's are Kyle Shewfelt in the vault and the floor, and England's Craig Heap.

Northern Ireland's Holly Murdock is in contention for gold in the women's beam and could push for a medal in the asymmetric bars and the all-around.

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See also:

05 Jun 02 | Gymnastics
05 Jun 02 | Gymnastics
15 Jul 02 | SOL
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