21/04/2024
Jessica Pickering is one of two Australians competing in the trampoline event at Tokyo 2020

Jessica Pickering is one of two Australians competing in the trampoline event at Tokyo 2020 Photo: Australian Olympic Committee/Buda Mendes

Jessica Pickering and Dominic Clarke will be representing Australia in the Trampoline event, learn more about the event with The Inner Sanctum's Preview.

The smallest of the Gymnastics disciplines, the Trampoline competition will have two medals on offer at Tokyo 2020. For all your Olympic coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

The newest of the three gymnastics disciplines, Trampoline is the event Australia has had the most success with, winning the first Silver medal at Sydney 2000.

Trampoline at Tokyo 2020

For both men and women, the competition consists of a qualification stage with 16 athletes and a final involving the top eight from qualifying.

Countries are allowed a maximum of two athletes in each event, however, only China, Japan and the Russian Olympic Committee will be sending a full roster to Tokyo 2020.

Qualifying is broken into two routines, a compulsory routine, where each gymnast will perform 10 skills, and a voluntary routine featuring 10 different skills without any limitations on the skills. These scores will be combined for an overall score with the top eight advancing.

In the final, the top eight will perform one voluntary routine with the score from that routine determining the medallists.

Scoring is broken down by difficulty, execution and flight, with set values for the skills determining the D score, minute details can heavily impact the E score, and the flight score is judged by flight time and horizontal displacement.

From the compulsory routine, two skills degree of difficulty will count towards the difficulty score, while all 10 skills will count towards the difficulty score in the voluntary routines.

How high can the Australians go?

Australia has two entries in the trampoline at Tokyo 2020, Dominic Clarke and Jessica Pickering. The pair will be making their Olympic debuts after qualifying at the World Cup Series.

Clarke has been steadily building in international competition over the past five years, a two time Australian National Champion, he’s in his element in the synchronised trampolining event with partner Ty Swadling earning a World Championship bronze in 2018.

Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, there’s no synchronised event at the Olympics but he’s been battling away at the individual events competing in four of the past five World Championships.

Pickering really made a name for herself in 2018, winning silver in the individual category at the Youth Olympic Games. She made the transition from juniors to seniors in 2019 and like Clarke excelled in synchro whilst she tried to make a splash in the individual category.

The 21-year-old started 2021 with an eighth-place finish at the 2021 FIG World Cup in Brescia, as well as winning the Oceania Championships. If she can replicate her performance from Brescia she’ll breeze through qualifications and reach the final giving herself a chance to get on the podium.

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Can anyone flip the script and shut out a Chinese gold sweep?

China might not be the only country to qualify a full roster in the Trampoline but every member of the team is as good as each other. Rio 2016 Silver and Bronze Medalists Dong Dong and Gao Lei are back to finally capture Olympic Gold.

The pair have had their fair share of medal success since Rio, with Lei getting the upper hand winning three consecutive individual World Championships from 2017 to 2019.

The Chinese women are just as hungry for a chance to medal with Liu Lingling and Zhu Xueying well and truly in medal contention at their debut Olympics.

Rosie MacLennan’s World Championship record might make you think that she’s out of medal contention. That would be a mistake, going for her third Olympic Gold Medal, 32-year-old Maclennan is looking to be the first trampoline gymnast to defend an Olympic title for a second time.

The Trampoline event commences with the women’s competition on July 30 and the men’s on July 31.

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