Gymanst Tyesha Mattis considers options after Pan Am setback
SANTIAGO, Chile — Artistic gymnast Tyesha Mattis is remaining upbeat despite not being able to replicate her bronze medal from the Central American and Caribbean Games here at the Pan American Games on Sunday.
Mattis placed 15th in the uneven bars and 33rd in the beams, in spite of competing with discomfort in her ankle that caused her not to finish her set of routines.
“Things didn’t pan out exactly how I would’ve liked them to,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “But at the same time, I came out here and got to complete my bars and my beam routine. My bars were absolutely beautiful to me and I was so impressed with my performance on there.”
Mattis overcame pain to execute a flick full twist, a move she has not done in over eight years.
In spite of the setback she says she is happy with her campaign at the games, where she also served as one of Jamaica’s flag bearers alongside badminton player Samuel Ricketts.
“I’m happy with myself and I’m safe, and I really enjoyed my experience out here in Chile,” she said. “I can’t wait for my next competition.”
Mattis’s primary aim was to use the Pan Am Games to qualify for the Paris Olympics but, having missed that target, she says she will sit and give some thought to how she approaches her next attempt at qualification, which is in two weeks in Belgium.
“I’m not sure how that’s going to pan out for me but I’m not giving up until I get that spot,” she said. “I’m going to keep pushing myself, working harder and harder. I’ll participate in some more competitions to be able to qualify from those competitions. It’s not the end yet; I’ve still got some time on my hands and I’m just going to train really hard. I’ll clean up my routine and give a better performance than I did this weekend.
“We don’t get it all the time but I’m still happy with myself. Thanks to everyone who supported me on this journey.”
Mattis hinted to the Observer that she sees the uneven bars and beams as her strongest events and is considering specialising in them.