World champion Bianca Zoonekynd is back in SA


Bianca Zoonekynd won gold at the 2017 Trampoline World Championships in Bulgaria. She’s now looking for funding to get more local talent into competitions.

bianca zoonekynd world champion
Bianca Zoonekynd is the first South African to be crowned Women’s Double Mini-Trampoline World Champion. (Image: Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, Twitter)

Brand South Africa reporter
Gymnast Bianca Zoonekynd returned to South Africa this week as the World Champion in the Women’s Double Mini-Trampoline gymnastics.

The last South African champion in the sport was Derrick Lotz, 37 years ago in Brig, Switzerland, according to South African Gymnatics Federation. Zoonekynd is the first South African woman to be the Double Mini-Trampoline World Champion for Gymnastics.

The 2017 Trampoline World Championships took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, just a few months after the 25-year-old had been in a car accident, in which she sustained career-threatening injuries.

In a Facebook status update, she wrote on 9 November 2017: “It’s been three months since I broke my ribs and punctured my lung. I’m so grateful to be alive and blessed to participate at the World Games in Bulgaria. It’s been a journey on the road to recovery.”

Her final points in the competition in Bulgaria were 68.900, on 12 November. In the double mini trampoline event, the second runner up was Polina Troianova from Russia and third was Lina Sjoeberg from Sweden.

Watch Bianca Zoonekynd at the 2017 Trampoline World Championships:

A winning combo

Zoonekynd arrived back in South Africa on 14 November. Despite battling a bout of flu, says publicist Samantha Strydom, she is already back in the gym of her mother and coach in Port Elizabeth, training children in the sport.

The gymnast, who started doing flick flacks at the age of three, coaches about 10 children. She teaches tumbling, double mini trampoline and trampoline. Her mother sponsors community gymnasts in their classes at the club.

Now Zoonekynd’s mission is to raise funds for the gymnastics school run by her mother, Mandy. “There’s so much talent,” Strydom says. “Bianca wants the children she and her mother teach to do competitions as well. But they need funding for the students.”

The gymnastics school only has the basic facilities she adds. “Bianca and her mother are a winning combo.”

Read more about Zoonekynd, her family and gymnastics in a Q&A she did with Brand South Africa, here.

Source: South African Gymnastics Federation

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