Gymnasts battle for ticket to the Games
WA gymnasts Emily Little, left, Lauren Mitchell, Nikki Chung, Olivia Vivian and Georgia Simpson are all hoping to be included in the five-woman team to represent Australia. Picture: John Mokrzycki/WA News

Australian women's gymnastics coach Peggy Liddick faces tough choices when selecting her team for the London Olympics.

The return of Beijing Olympians Olivia Vivian, Daria Joura and Georgia Bonora to a national squad which includes top WA performers Lauren Mitchell and Emily Little has provided Liddick with a bigger squad than ever to choose from.

A group of almost two dozen athletes who attended the national championships in Sydney last weekend needs to be trimmed to just 12 - from which the final five for London will be selected on June 21.

It is a problem Liddick always wanted, but one which WAIS head coach Martine George does not envy. George, who coaches five of the contenders, said it was a surprise to have so many gymnasts back in contention.

"They showed great depth and this is a great position to be in," George said.

"I'm glad I'm not the national coach because there were a lot of standout performances on individual apparatus with only limited opportunity to pick specialists."

Mitchell and WAIS training partner Little are certainties, as is Victorian Ashleigh Brennan.

That leaves spots for just two others.

"We have five girls, Mitchell, Little, Vivian, Nikki Chung and Georgia Simpson who we are trying to get across the line but not all will be successful," George said.

Mitchell said her performance at trials showed she was close to where she would like to be at the Olympics, especially on the beam, but her floor and vault needed work.

"At the moment my beam would probably rate a little higher than the floor because I have had slightly more preparation than on the floor," she said.

"The next couple of weeks I will be working on the floor with the same aggressiveness."

Little said her trials went well but there were a few uncharacteristic mistakes, which were the result of including new elements for the first time in competition.

The squad, which will make it through to the second and final set of selection trials, will be named later this week.

The West Australian

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