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Mattis to represent Jamaica at World Gymnastics Championships

Published:Tuesday | July 19, 2022 | 12:13 AMSharla Williams/Gleaner Writer
Tyesha Mattis.
Tyesha Mattis.

National gymnast Tyesha Mattis says it’s a great honour to get to represent Jamaica at the World Gymnastics Championships after she placed third in the women’s individual all-round at the Pan American Championships in Brazil. The championships ended on Sunday.

“I feel very honoured to get to represent Jamaica at the World Championships. I have never been to a World Championships, and to be out there with the Jamaican flag on me is such a blessing,” she said. “I don’t know how to express the feelings that I am feeling inside, but it is magical to me and I feel so special, and I can’t wait to get out there and represent my country.”

The Britain-born gymnast has many British and international titles to her name, but with injuries plaguing her career she decided to step away from the sport in 2018.

However, the 23-year-old came out of retirement to represent Jamaica along with her sister, China, as they were born to Jamaican parents.

The sisters made their debut at the Pan American Championships, where they were a part of a seven-member team.

“I would describe my first time representing Jamaica as a blessing and absolutely amazing,” Mattis said. “It’s a passion for me doing my gymnastics, and I’ll be out there with the Jamaican flag. It makes me feel so special inside, and I couldn’t ask for a greater moment than the one I have just had.”

The all-around gold medallist at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival said she thinks she could have performed better in the competition, but she is grateful for the results.

“I know and believe I can do much better than I did, but I am still very grateful for my performances as it’s my first time competing since 2017. And I cannot be hard on myself, as I don’t know anyone else that has come back from three months after training, and not being in competition for four to five years, and then being selected for the World Championships. I just feel so blessed, and I thank everyone that supported me on my journey. I love you all, bless up my friends and family,” she said.

Mattis was the first of 11 all-around gymnasts to qualify for the World Championships.

Team Jamaica’s women missed out on qualifying for the World Championships after initially finishing eighth in the team competition but a point was deducted from the team, which saw the final spot going to Cuba.

However, the women still made history by qualifying for their first Central American and Caribbean Games, scheduled to take place in Panama City, Panama, in 2023.

The Jamaicans experienced another history-making moment as male gymnast Caleb Faulk performed an original skill, which was accepted in the International Gymnastics Federation’s Code of Points. The Code of Points is a rulebook that defines the scoring system for each level of competition in gymnastics.