“It’s a dream come true” says World Champion Nina Derwael
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    “It’s a dream come true” says World Champion Nina Derwael

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Nina Derwael has become the first Belgian World Champion in Artistic Gymnastics by winning the Uneven Bars event in Doha on Friday. “I have no words, it’s a dream come true”, the gymnast told Sporza after receiving her gold medal. 

    “I was actually really nervous all day, right from when I woke up. I’m so happy I was able to keep calm thanks to my teammates. I tried to trust my training. I trained hard for this, I couldn’t have done anymore”. 

    The double and current European champion was also bronze medallist at the Montreal World Championships last year. Derwael was the big favourite to win. “When I landed, it was a real relief. All the stress disappeared and I just felt immense happiness. I was incredibly happy with my score (15,200 points), but I was still a bit stressed until the last gymnast had finished”.  

    “It hasn’t hit me yet that I made history. I’m still on my little cloud and feel like I could wake up at any moment”, Derwael said.  

    The Belgian athlete has beaten American legend Simone Bliss by winning her thirteenth medal at just 21 years-old. “I’ve always admired her. To hear from her mouth that I did an amazing routine and she admired my technique was very special”. 

    Derwael still has to get through the final on the balance beam, a routine she won the silver medal at the European Championship in Glasgow this summer. “I hope to do a good routine and finish well”, she concluded.  

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times