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Sixth Time's A Charm For Iceland's Hermannsdóttir
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After recently winning her record sixth Icelandic national all-around title, Thelma Rut Hermannsdóttir told IG she looks forward to upcoming international competitions including the European championships, the Games of the Small States of Europe and the first European Games.

"It's the fun of gymnastics that keeps me going," said Hermannsdóttir, who last month scored 49.35 to win the Icelandic title over silver medalist Dominiqua Alma Belányi (48.00) and bronze medalist Norma Dögg Róbertsdóttir (46.95). "It's the flying around, pushing yourself to the limit sometimes and doing new skills and, of course, the good fellowship."

Thelma Rut Hermannsdóttir won her sixth Icelandic national title

Hermannsdóttir said she was surprised to clinch her record-winning title against strong competitors.

"The win this year was very unexpected," Hermannsdóttir said. "Norma Dögg, Dominiqua and I had the greatest potential to win the title. When I stepped into the competition hall my only goal was to do my best, and see what that would give me in the end."

Hermannsdóttir said her 2015 win was special because she broke the record of five titles that was jointly held by Berglind Pétursdóttir, her former coach and an international judge, and Sif Pálsdóttir.

"I had forgotten about it, but when the scores were official everyone congratulated me for the new record," she said. "It was a great feeling."

The 21-year-old Hermannsdóttir credits Róbertsdóttir for helping her maintain her drive and confidence.

"It wouldn't be possible if I weren't training with my best friend, Norma Dögg," she said. "At one point last year it was all down to her motivation that kept me going, and I thank her for that. If it hadn't been for her I wouldn't have achieved this. Competitions are also a great part of my motivation. It is always fun to go abroad and compete, meet your friends from other countries, and share experience and memories."

Hermannsdóttir's next international target is the European championships in Montpellier, France, this month.

"My goal there is to see where I stand compared to similar countries like the Nordics and some others," she said.

Hermannsdóttir also hopes to compete at the Games of the Small States of Europe, which will take place in her country in early June.

"We have been very victorious and hopefully we can maintain that," she said. "Two years ago we won the team title, and I hope that we can defend that title. I also hope for some medals on individual events."

Following the Games of the Small States of Europe, Hermannsdóttir would like to compete at the first European Games, which will take place June 12-28 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

"We earned a spot for three girls and one boy when we competed at the European championships in Belgium last year," she said. "I was a part of that team and it would be fun to be one of three girls in that team."

Hermannsdóttir said she understands that her dedication and longevity are essential to the progress of the Icelandic national program.

"I think that I have been a good role model for the younger girls and they will like to be in my footsteps one day," she told IG. "It is important to help the next generation to build upon the experience that I and my 'older' teammates have gathered over the past few years. I like to believe that we have built a positive reputation both with the judges and fans. It is our responsibility to help the younger ones as best we can so our team can continue to make progress on the international stage."

Read "Icelandic Warm-Up," a feature on International Gymnast magazine's visit to Iceland that includes Hermannsdóttir, in the November 2012 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, click here.

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