Bethany Dikau hopes to showcase Caymanian gymnastics talent in Canada.
Dikau, 17, is competing in the 2014 Senior Pan American Gymnastics Championships this week. The Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, serves as the venue until Sept. 1. The former Cayman Prep and Grace Christian Academy student is slated to compete in the qualification phase for the artistic gymnastics section from Aug. 29. The competition will not be much of a trek for Dikau, who moved from the Cayman Islands to Canada a few years ago and trains with coach Adriana Forde at Gymnastics Energy in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Dikau is coming off a historic feat, being the first gymnast to ever represent Cayman at the Commonwealth Games. She says her time at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland was fantastic.
“Scotland was an amazing experience being there, competing on podium and seeing all of the audience,” Dikau said. “Seeing the athletes compete, I have inspiration to do more and be better. I have a lot of support from the Gymnastics Energy family and the Motions Unlimited family in Cayman. I feel all of that support and it’s good.”
The Mississauga event is a qualifier for the XVII Pan American Games, taking place next July in Toronto.
Earlier this month, Dikau finished 37th out of 40 athletes in the artistic gymnastics event in Scotland. For the floor segment, Dikau had a score of 10.766 points and registered 11 points in the vault, 7.666 points in the uneven bars and 9.466 points on the balance beam for an all-around score of 38.898. Each apparatus carried a maximum of 15 points, with 60 points being the overall top score.
Forde was in Glasgow to support Dikau and says while that performance was encouraging, the plan for Mississauga is to qualify for the Pan Am Games.
“She goes to trials for Pan Americans, which is going to be next year in Toronto, Canada. We’re going to the trials in hopes to win a spot for Cayman to be able to take an athlete there next season. One more meet and Scotland was a great preparation for her. We’re really hoping to bring Cayman that spot for next year.
“I was really proud of Bethany (in Scotland). She did a lot of visualization and mental preparation to make sure she came out there relaxed and show people how hard she works in the gym everyday. We thank all of the Cayman Islands and everyone who supported her every step of the way.”
While Dikau had a chance to rest and train prior to the Mississauga event, Forde has been on the go. She was with another Cayman gymnast, Morgan Lloyd, over in Nanjing, China last week for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. At the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium, Lloyd, 15, finished 37th out of 40 competitors. She scored 11.700 points in the vault, 7.900 points in the uneven bars, 10.350 points on the balance beam and 11.300 points for her floor routine for an overall score of 41.250.