Newly crowned Dutch men's all-around champion Casimir Schmidt told IG he is pleased by his recent achievements but is eager to reach peak form at this fall's world championships in Antwerp.
Casimir Schmidt (Netherlands)
"I am most satisfied with the results, because I was training lots of new skills for the worlds," said Schmidt, who placed first all-around at the 2013 Dutch Gymnastics Championships, held June 14-15 in Rotterdam. "My coach and I decided to go for the worlds in full preparation, so for nationals we took only one week preparation, and we put in a lot of new skills, It could have gone either wrong or well. Every new skill went well, so that's what I'm happiest with."
Schmidt's performances at the Dutch championships were steadier than those at the European championships in Moscow in April. He was fourth alternate for the 24-gymnast all-around final in Moscow after a faulty performance in qualifications.
"I almost made it, but I had three falls," said Schmidt, who placed first on vault and 14th all-around at the 2012 European Junior Championships in Montpellier. "That's because I did not have a good preparation. Originally I was reserve (for the Dutch team) but then someone got injured, so my preparation wasn't perfect. I didn't do enough routines, So I had three falls. That's why I didn't make the final."
Born Oct. 31, 1995, in Hoofddorp, Schmidt is coached by Jos van Klink at SK Pax Haarlemmermeer in Haarlem. He attends school in Amsterdam.
Schmidt said he looks forward to facing his country's other top gymnasts leading up to Antwerp.
In Rotterdam, 2012 Dutch all-around champion Bart Deurloo did only four events, and 2011 champion Anthony van Assche, who is recovering from an injury, did not compete.
Also absent in Rotterdam were 2012 Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderland, former world rings champion Yuri van Gelder and 2013 Europeans two-event finalist Jeffrey Wammes.
Schmidt, an all-arounder, said he is unsure of his plan for securing his spot on the Dutch team that is abundant with veterans such as Zonderland, van Gelder and Wammes.
"That is a hard question to answer because none of them does all-around," he says. "And on the event that they are competing, I'm not able to reach them yet. I'll have to train harder and improve my D score."
Schmidt credited Dutch depth to changes in the national team's training program.
"I think the Dutch gymnasts are really improving,"Schmidt said. "That's all because of the new way of training, because of the head coach, [Britain's] Mitch Fenner."
Although this fall's worlds in Antwerp will not include a team competition, Schmidt said he wants to be selected as one his country's individual competitors and then advance to the final.
"My goal is, first of all, to make the team!"he told IG. "When I do, I really want to make the all-around final. If I train hard, maybe there is an opportunity to make it."
International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
2012 Olympic Games special issue, featuring Zonderland – September 2012
"Flying Dutchman"(Zonderland interview) – May 2010
"Power Trip (van Gelder profile) – January/February 2009
van Gelder center poster (June 2008)
"Comebacks Complete"(Wammes profile) – October 2007
"Destiny's Child"(Wammes profile) – August/September 2002
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