IG Online Interview: Amaranta Torres (Mexico)
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As the lone Mexican female gymnast competing at the world championships in Antwerp that begin Monday, Amaranta Torres is calmly preparing to represent her country in her best form.

As the lone Mexican female gymnast competing at the world championships in Antwerp that begin Monday, Amaranta Torres is calmly preparing to represent her country in her best form.

Torres, who is competing at worlds for the first time, has emerged as one of Mexico's strongest gymnasts in 2013. Already this year she tied for sixth place all-around at the Mexican Championships; placed third all-around and first on uneven bars at the Mexican National Olympiad; and finished fifth on uneven bars at the Pan American Championships in San Juan.

Born July 11, 1995, in Chula Vista, Calif., Torres trains under coach Alfredo Hueto at AGymnasia in Tijuana. "My whole life has developed in Mexico," she explains. "I live in Tijuana, which borders San Diego, and it's very common for people from Tijuana to have dual citizenship."

Torres's given name is Karla, but friends refer to her by her middle name, Amaranta. "Since childhood I have been called by my middle name," she says. "Personally I like it better than Karla, because I think Karla is a very common name, and that's why I prefer Amaranta."

In this IG Online interview, Torres defines her goals for Antwerp, describes her journey to the world championships and outlines her long-range ambitions.

IG: What are your personal expectations for the competition, and how are you prepared to handle the expectation of solely representing your team?

AT: It is a great honor to represent my country in such a big competition and my expectations are: Give my best, enjoy and learn from the more experienced gymnasts as this is my first experience in the world championships.

IG: How old were you when you began doing gymnastics, and why did you choose gymnastics?

AT: I started in gymnastics when I was 2 1/2 or 3 years old. My parents felt it was the right sport for me since I was never still and was always jumping everywhere. After a while, when I started to think for myself, I made the decision to remain in a competitive world because I liked that environment.

IG: This year you seem to have come from nowhere. To what do you attribute your quick progress?

AT: I was on the junior national team in 2009 but had some injuries and lost my motivation. Two years ago, Alfredo Hueto started working with me. We started training very hard but the progress I was making gave me motivation. We have worked very hard to be considered one of the best in the country, and this year I began to see results and will continue to work to be even better. So I attribute my progress to those two things - hard work and my coach.

IG: In the last 10-15 years, Mexico has made great progress on the world scene, with the success of gymnasts such as Denisse Lopez, Brenda Magaña and Elsa Garcia, among others. What do you think you can contribute to the new success of Mexican gymnastics?

AT: All of them are great examples for me, especially Denisse Lopez, who is from my state. It is a great motivation for me to try to reach their level. In this next competition, I'll give my best, to achieve a good position and make everyone in Mexico proud of me, as they have been for them.

IG: The competition for teams to qualify for the Olympic Games has become very tough. What specifically do you think Mexico will need to do between now and 2016 in order to qualify for Rio de Janeiro?

AT: We need to work hard as we have been doing. All gymnasts, coaches and managers need to be on the same channel, with the same goal, which has been teamwork. I think that, with this in mind, we can achieve a good standing and be at the level of the very best.

International Gymnast Magazine's coverage of Mexican gymnastics includes:
"10 Questions With...Coach Antonio Barraza" (April 2010)
"Mexican Maestro" - Daniel Corral profile (November 2010)
"On the Mend" – injury update including Garcia (April 2008)
Elsa Garcia cover photo and interview (May 2007)
Elsa Garcia profile (May 2006)
"Catching Up With…Denisse Lopez" (April 2007)
"Mexican Revolution" – Denisse Lopez profile (February 2000)
"Mexican Evolution" - Brenda Magaña profile (November 2002)
"Catching Up With...Tony Piñeda" (May 2009)
"10 Questions With... (FIG Technical Committee Member) Naomi Valenzo" (September 2009) .

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