14-year-old Alana Walker scored 49.850 to finish third in the All-Around – bars, beam, floor and vault – that was won by the USA’s Katelyn Jong with a score of 54.10. President of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association has described Alana Walker’s historic bronze medal performance in women artistic gymnastics at the Junior Pan Am Gymnastics; Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday as a major boost for the sport locally; one that could help the association generate desperately needed funding.
Born to Jamaican parents, this is the first time Alana Walker is representing the island. She was initially competing for team USA and even won the US Nationals at Level 10. She made the USA development squad in May 2021, according to Jamaica Information Service.
Alana Walker Is Going to Colombia
By winning the bronze medal, Alana, who is coached by Ashley Brooke Umberger at North Stars Gymnastics in Boonton, New Jersey; automatically qualifies for the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia later this year.
“Her placement at this event speaks volumes to her ability and talent and we are super, super excited that she has chosen to represent Jamaica at this time when we have launched our Junior Olympic program.
“She is a part of that program, and we look forward to her development; and her transition into the senior category, as next year; she will become a senior and the road to 2024 Olympicswould have started for her.”
The infrastructure for gymnasts especially these young hopefuls to train is in an abysmal condition. Officials believe Walker’s win could be the leverage the association needs to secure the much-needed funds to buy basic; but important equipment like the landing equipment, according to jamaicans.com.
Currently, the one available “is not good enough at this time” and “just not up to the standard”; for the sort of training Walker and the othergymnasts need to prepare for such international competitions.