Commonwealth Games – Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Preview with Chris Remkes
It’s under twenty-four hours until competition kicks off at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham UK, and it’s our Male Artistic Gymnasts who will take to the floor first at 2:30am AEST on Saturday.
One man who knows what it takes to perform at a Games is Chris Remkes, who took home the Gold Medal on Vault at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Chris joined us to preview the MAG squad, as well as to reflect on his own experience competing against the world’s best.
According to Chris, the standout Aussie to watch this year, is Jesse Moore. At just 19 years old, Jesse is our youngest member of the MAG team. Do not let that fool you though, he couldn’t be more prepared. He has “exceeded all expectations and boundaries” that Chris had imagined of him as he competes at the top level for the first time. Hailing from South Australia, Jessie began training at the Australian institute of Sport in Canberra in February this year, and was the Senior All-Around Champion at the Australian Gymnastics Championships in May.
The overall strength of Australia’s team is one of the most exciting elements to note throughout the competition, according to Chris. Tyson Bull and Mitchell ‘Middy’ Morgans will be aiming for gold on Horizontal Bar, while Clay Stephens, who took home Silver in All-Around at the Australian Gymnastics Championships behind fellow South Australian Moore, will be hoping to continue his recent form. James Bacueti will also be aiming to spring onto the medal dais on Vault after a successful World Cup series earlier this year.
The strength of the team was also referred to by Tyson Bull and Clay Stephens, who fronted the media on Thursday afternoon. “The team’s looking amazing, we’ve done everything we can,” said Tyson, who is no stranger to elite international competition, having made the final for Horizontal Bar at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. “You can take confidence out of what you have done, and Tokyo is a confidence booster,” he remarked.
Confidence is something this MAG squad certainly does not lack, as they look to be the most successful squad since Delhi 2010. “We’re all pretty confident, we’ve got a good solid team” said Clay. “Our last team medal was 2010, and that set the bar for all Australia teams… we can medal in almost every event,” said Tyson, who alluded to host country England as their strongest competition, but that “we’re talking about gymnastics, anything can happen.”
For Tyson, Clay and the two other Commonwealth Games debutants Jesse and James, the status of being a Commonwealth Games athlete is an abrupt change in an athletes life, as Chris experienced in 2018. “Never have I experienced a level of interviews or live talks such as I did at the last Commonwealth Games,” he said, whilst reminiscing about the sudden interest in him as an athlete came with the Games. “The influence I had with not only the fellow gymnasts but also other athletes and non athletes as well [allowed me to share] a sense of confidence that you can achieve anything you work hard for.”
When asked what advice he would pass on to our four debutants, Chris remarked simply “go out and have fun! they've endured the hardship and put in the time to get to this point and I know it will show! I have high hopes for my friends who are competing at this years games, I've trained and competed with them for a very long time. If anything I know they'll make Australia proud!”
The Commonwealth Games will be streamed live and free on Channel 7, and the 7plus app.
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics schedule:
All times listed are in AEST
Saturday 30 July - 2:30-6:15am– Individual Qualification and Team Final
Sunday 31 July 6:00 – 8:30pm – All-Around Final
Monday 1 August – 10:00pm – 2:00am – Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse and Still Rings Individual Apparatus Finals
Tuesday 2 August – 10:00pm – 2:00am – Vault, Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar Individual Apparatus Finals