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Chris Remkes: ‘All We Can Do Is Keep Fighting’
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Australia’s Christopher Remkes told IG that his expected starts on three apparatuses at this week’s 2019 World Cup of Melbourne represent an important stage in his quest to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“It plays a big part in trying to qualify for Tokyo,” said Remkes, who has won two gold, two silver and two bronze medals in World Cup or Challenge Cup meets, including gold on vault and bronze on pommel horse at last year’s World Cup of Melbourne. “There are several World Cups leading to Tokyo, and my aim is to try and come up on top in this World Cup series, which then gets me to the Olympics.”

Remkes said his routines for Melbourne will be similar to those he performed at last fall’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar, where his best individual results were 14th place on pommel horse and 23rd place on vault.

“Not much has changed really,” he said. “I’ve added a couple skills back in that weren't working before and am mostly just trying to work on quality.”

Born Sept. 3, 1996, in Bacolod City, the Philippines, Remkes was adopted by Australian parents at age 2. He placed first on vault at the 2014, 2016 and 2017 Australian championships; first on floor exercise at the 2015 and 2016 Australian Championships; second on pommel horse at the 2017 Australian Championships; and third on pommel horse at the 2016 Australian Championships.

In addition to Remkes’ World Cup and Challenge Cup successes, he placed first on vault and sixth on pommel horse at the 2018 Commonwealth Games that his country hosted in Gold Coast.

Remkes said he does not find it unusual for a gymnast such as he to be particularly strong on floor exercise, pommel horse and vault.

“I think I'm just lucky to have the type of body shape, and I guess strength and power, to be able to do what I do on those particular events,” he said.

Remkes is not currently focusing on bolstering his routine on the remaining three apparatuses — rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar.

“Up to now I think I can say I've done the best I can resulting in a medal at World Cups and Commonwealth Games,” he said. “At the moment these three apparatuses are not my priority, so at this point I'm not concerned about making any upgrades.”

At last fall’s World Championships in Doha, Remkes and his Australian teammates finished 25th in qualifications. The top three teams in Doha, and nine additional teams at this fall’s Worlds in Stuttgart, qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Remkes processed Australia’s team finish in Doha with mixed emotions.

“It is disappointing, yes, but I see it more of a motivation because it makes us work harder and become better, trying to squeeze back in to go to Stuttgart,” he said.

As one of Australia’s more experienced gymnasts, Remkes offered a rally cry to his teammates after their results were posted in Doha.

“Obviously it was not the ranking that we wanted, but I try and not see this as a failure, but just a small step back, and I try and help my teammates see that, too,” he told IG. “Some things may just not go to plan but sometimes our best results are not planned. All we can really do is keep fighting.”

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