Premier Gymnastics prodigy Aileen Chiang brings home slew of medals from Queensland state titles

BIRKDALE resident and Moreton Bay College student Aileen Chiang has cleaned up at the re-scheduled gymnastics state championships.

PODIUM FINISH: Aileen Chiang won two gold medals at the gymnastics state championships in December.

PODIUM FINISH: Aileen Chiang won two gold medals at the gymnastics state championships in December.

The Premier Gymnastics prodigy won two gold medals for ball and ribbon, silver for rope and bronze in the club category at Caloundra Indoor Stadium in December.

Ms Chiang started out as an artistic gymnast before transitioning into rhythmic gymnastics about four years ago.

She trains five days a week, meaning she spends about 23 hours on the practice mat.

"It is very fun," she said. "Rhythmic gymnastics is good because it is more about expressions, dance and the beauty of it."

GRACEFUL: Aileen Chiang performs in a ribbon event at the Caloundra-based state titles held in December.

GRACEFUL: Aileen Chiang performs in a ribbon event at the Caloundra-based state titles held in December.

"I had one goal this year, and that was to be state champion.

"Now I am in level 10 for next year, which is a more senior level, so it is all new to me.

"I don't really know what is going to happen but I am optimistic and prepared to face the difficulties and the competition."

The Gymnastics Queensland Extravaganza, which included the junior state championships, was held over 10 days in December.

Ms Chiang said she was surprised by her results but was proud of earning a place on the podium after a turbulent year.

"I didn't expect it because I don't think I did as well as I could have," she said.

"It has been hard with coronavirus and we had to go into lockdown for two months during the middle of the year, so that really pushed my skills and routines back because you can't do much gymnastics at home."

Ms Chiang's mum Irene said it was the dance element of artistic gymnastics that her daughter enjoyed, as she came from a ballet background.

"Artistic gymnastics is very sporty," she said.

"Rhythmic involves dancing, a lot of music, balls and ribbons. That is why she changed over."

The Moreton Bay College student had thought about one day participating on the big stage but was still deciding what her future in the sport would look like.

"If I was to do the Commonwealth Games or Olympics, I would think about doing it in a group competition," Ms Chiang said.

"I am still trying to decide what I want to do with my life, but I have thought about the Olympics and Commonwealth Games."

Read more local sport news here.