July 21, 2011
COLUMBIA, MO. - University of Missouri gymnast Sandra Ostad is set to compete for her native country of Norway in the 2011 National competition as well as the World Gymnastics Championship. Ostad will start her competitions at the 26th Annual Summer Universiade on Aug. 13 and continue to the Norwegian National Competition on Sept. 17. The World Championships will begin on Oct. 8.
Ostad will begin her competition at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China, which is near Hong Kong. The Universiade is an international event organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation. The games can also be referred to as the World University Games. Five gymnasts from each country are eligible to compete in the games, which are scored using the elite scoring system.
Unlike collegiate scoring, the elite method uses a ten-point scale to score the routines as well as awarding points for difficulty of the skills presented. In this system a gymnast may be given a score of 15.0, whereas the scores in collegiate competition do not exceed 10.0. Because of the elite scoring system, Ostad has added more difficult skills to her routines.
"My routines are longer, which is hard," Ostad says of her new competition routines, "but it's also more fun because it's a challenge."
Ostad will be competing at the Universiade under the direction of her club team coaches, Octavian Ionasiu and Bai Yu Ping, who trained Ostad at Oslo Turnforening in Oslo, Norway. Although she won't have her Mizzou teammates to cheer her on, Ostad will be rotating with former teammate Karoline Sondov. Ostad has had to make adjustments because of the individual nature of these competitions.
"It's totally different," she said. "When you compete in college you are competing alone on the event, but you have your team cheering you on. In elite it is very quiet and serious, it's more of a challenge when your team isn't behind you."
After competing at the Universiade, Ostad will travel to her home country of Norway to compete in the National Championship.
"I'm ready for this," Ostad said. "I'm really excited. I haven't competed all-around since 2009, so I am excited to go back home and show everyone how hard I have worked."
Ostad must score above a 47 to advance to the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. Missouri Gymnastics Associate Head Coach John Figueroa will accompany Ostad on this trip. Ostad has been training with Figueroa for several months in order to prepare for these competitions. The World Championship competition will begin on Oct. 8 and conclude on the 16th.
Stay tuned to MUTIGERS.com and the team's Twitter page (@TigerGymnastics) for all the latest information on Ostad's journey overseas.