Visser On Worlds: ‘We Were One Team With One Goal’
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Two-time World Championships all-around finalist Naomi Visser of the Netherlands told IG she was delighted that she and her teammates earned a team berth to next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo through their solid performance at last month’s World Championships in Stuttgart.

“My biggest goal in Stuttgart was to get the Olympic ticket with the team,” said Visser, who placed 23rd in the all-around final after the Dutch team finished eighth in the team final. “So all the focus was on that competition. I’m really happy and proud of the team that we made it.”

Visser attributed her team’s success to a unified effort to earn one of nine remaining team berths to Tokyo that were available in Stuttgart. Three teams qualified for Tokyo via their performances at the 2018 Worlds in Doha.

“We were one team with one goal,” she said. “Each team member did everything that was needed to achieve the goal. No matter what. And that’s why our team had a very good performance in Stuttgart.”

Visser, who placed 14th all-around at last year’s Worlds in Doha, said she was glad to achieve a personal best on balance beam in the Stuttgart all-around final despite an illness that sapped her strength.

“My all-around final didn’t go as planned,” she said. “During the competition I became a little sick, so I was under my energy level. I hoped for a better competition, but I did everything I could in the moment. Despite that, I’m happy that I made the final and achieved a personal record on balance beam.”

Visser said a combination of time and optimal performances will tell how high the Dutch team can finish in Tokyo.

“That’s really hard to say,” she said. “We are going to do our best and then we will see. But our ultimate goal is to make the team final.”

The 18-year-old Visser said she will concentrate on adding difficulty to her routines and remaining healthy so she can make the Dutch team for Tokyo.

“My focus will be on getting a higher D (difficulty) score on every apparatus and get this stable,” she said. “But the most important is to stay fit.”

Referring to Visser’s calm demeanor, coach Vincent Wevers refers to her as “Cool Frog,” a nickname that amuses her.

“I think it’s really funny,” Visser told IG. “In the Netherlands ‘cool frog’ is a saying, so that’s why he says a frog and not another animal.”

Read complete coverage of the 2019 World Championships in the November 2019 issue of International Gymnast magazine, available now.

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