Une interview de Maricela Cantu pour intlgymnast : on peut y lire qu'elle prépare les Jeux, et que sa meilleure amie (Elsa Garcia) ne lui en veut pas du tout d'être qualifiée alors qu'elle ne l'est pas ; elle dit ensuite qu'elle espère qu'Elsa l'accompagnera aux JO grâce au dernier spot qui sera attribué courant 2008 par un comité tripartite.
Citation:Cantu Has "Can-Do" Attitude For 2008
// December 19, 2007
Mexico's Olympic qualifier Marisela Cantu told IG she plans to represent her country with pride in 2008.
Cantu was the top Mexican all-around finisher (61st in qualifications) at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, where Mexico placed 20th in the team competition. The top 12 teams qualified full teams for next summer's Beijing Olympic Games. Teams that placed 13th through 15th earned two individual berths each, and teams that placed 16th through 18th earned one individual berth each.
As the top all-around performer from a country that had not already qualified, Cantu was named as Mexico's sole representative in Beijing.
Cantu, 17, said she will train for the Beijing Olympics with encouragement from many sources.
"I've always been supported by my family, teammates and my coaches, Tere (Lopez) and Toño Barraza," she said. "Also, Mexico's Prime Minister, Carlos Hermosillo, has always been a very strong support for me and the national team. Because of this, I don't feel pressure. Instead, I feel very motivated to prepare myself for the Olympic Games."
Cantu's nomination was a surprise for many gymnastics followers who expected teammate Elsa García, a gold medalist at World Cup meets earlier in the year, to lead Mexico in Stuttgart.
Barraza said García competed in Stuttgart with an injury in the upper part of her leg, in a joint within the leg and hip muscles. García finished 74th in the Stuttgart qualifications.
"Being nominated for the Olympic Games was a not a surprise for me, because I worked so hard all year," Cantu told IG. "I feel very happy because of this result. I am conscious that we (Mexico) could have gotten 18th place, but because of Elsa's injury we couldn't achieve our goal."
Marisela Cantu and Elsa García
Cantu said García, her best friend, remains supportive in spite of her own disappointment.
"First of all, let me tell you that Elsa was the first to congratulate me," Cantu said. "She is my best friend despite the situation at the World Championships. We always support each other. Let me confess something to you: I have lots of hope that she will be in the Olympic Games with me." (One women's artistic gymnastics berth for the Beijing Games remains open, and will be determined by a tripartite committee.)
Cantu said she looks forward to a training break in order to celebrate the Christmas holiday with family.
"On December 24 we have turkey for dinner and exchange gifts," she said. "This is a very special day to be together. We talk and play board games. And, as you know, we wake up very early on the 25th to see what Santa has for us!"
Cantu said 2008 holds much promise for her, in and out of the gym.
"For my personal life I want to finish preparatory school and start a career," she said. "And in the gym, I would like to prepare very hard and continue my training for the Olympic Games, to represent Mexico as best I can."
— John Crumlish