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Countdown to Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Mukunda Measuria

Athlete profile: Mukunda Measuria

Age: 27

Sport: Gymnastics

Hometown: Ballamodha

Commonwealth Games Achievements:

Bendigo 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games

Men's Individual Artistic Gymnastics

2004 Commonwealth Youth Games logo

Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games

Men's Individual Artistic Gymnastics

Men's Team Artistic Gymnastics

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Men's Individual Artistic Gymnastics

Men's Team Artistic Gymnastics

When did you first represent Team Isle of Man at a Commonwealth Games?

My first experience with CGA IOM was just age 15, when I was selected to represent the IOM at the 2004 Youth Commonwealth Games in Bendigo, Australia, for Gymnastics. This then progressed onto representing Team Isle of Man at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

How did you first begin Gymnastics? 

It was all thanks to my parents. They took me to a gymnastics club in Manchester when we lived there. It started as a recreational participation, as I was swimming more. When we moved to the Island, I continued with gymnastics, but was in the Island Swimming Team, so was focused more on that. I started taking gymnastics competitively in my first year of high school. I had the opportunity to compete for chance to qualify for the Guernsey Island Games Team. I managed to win the competition, and make the gymnastics team as it’s first junior member. The experience I had in Guernsey was fantastic, especially as we won Team Gold, and have thoroughly enjoyed representing the Island ever since.

Why do you compete and represent Team Isle of Man?

I love gymnastics because of it’s challenge. All sports are a challenge once you approach elite level, but in their own way. I like variety, and learn things quickly. Gymnastics fit my personality perfectly, because once you’ve learnt a skill, there’s a progression, or another skill to learn. Multiplying this by 6 different apparatus gave me the variation and challenges I was looking for.

I was fortunate that when I began competitive gymnastics, the other gymnasts around were only a few years older than me. We formed a great team, and thoroughly enjoyed training with each other – training become social too. Gennady Tsyganov had recently become the new men’s head coach, bringing his experience from being an ex-Russian gymnast. It was a great time for men’s gymnastics on the Island, and we quickly progressed, thanks to the support we had on Island.

Fast forward to 2010, and I’d qualified to represent Team Isle of Man at the CWG in Delhi. It’s always an honor to represent your country. For me, it’s a chance to show the world what we have on the Island, and what we are capable of. Representing Team Isle of Man is also one of the ways we, as athletes, can thank the people of the Island for their continued support. We have a fantastic community here, and I always tried to make us proud.

Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay

What do you love most about being a Gymnast?

Personally, competing is just a tiny part of gymnastics, and I almost always prefer training for a competition, than the competition itself! However, without the competition, there’s no end goal for all the training!

For me, the best thing about gymnastics is that it makes you different. Being a gymnast makes you stand out, even from other athletes. I find that people are always fascinated with gymnasts because we can do ‘cool flips’, or ‘swing round a bar’, or because we have incredible strength and a physique. Gymnastics isn’t a mainstream sport, and people can appreciate that what we do is only possible with a lot of training.

How does it feel to represent Team Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games is the highest level of competition at which we can represent the Island. Being a part of Team Isle of Man at the Games is very unique. We’re only a small contingent, but punch well above our weight. Walking out at the opening ceremony, surrounded by great professionals, such as Mark Cavendish and Tim Kneale, is both inspiring and a privilege.

What has been your favourite sporting moment whilst involved with Team Isle of Man?

I competed really well in Delhi 2010. It was my first Commonwealth Games and I had a great competition. The satisfaction after landing my final dismount off high bar was a great feeling!

Have you got any funny stories to share with us during your time at the Games?

In Delhi, we were invited to a formal Team dinner. They had a live Indian classical group playing in the background. Halfway through the evening, Cav gets on to the stage where they were playing, sits down at one of the instruments, and pretends to be playing with the group! It had everyone giggling for the rest of the evening!

What has been your ultimate achievement in sport?

Making it to two Commonwealth Games is beyond what I could have imagined!

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

Fear is a big factor in gymnastics. You’re almost guaranteed to take a knock, suffer some pain and bruising (hopefully never anything serious) on a daily basis. I’ve learnt to accept that these things will happen. Once you’ve accepted it, and taken the correct precautions to minimize it, the fear-factor diminishes, and you can just get on with it.

The other thing is to never let yourself off the hook. You’ve got to be disciplined, and only you can make that happen. It’s a lesson for life really. If you know you have to do x,y and z each session, make sure you get it done. Make a commitment to do it every session, and never, ever go back on it. If you miss is once, it makes it easier to miss it out again. Once you’ve done it for a few weeks, it becomes part of your routine, and you don’t even consider not doing it.

My motto from being very young has always been “Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret.”

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Have you had any key role models growing up?

I take the bits and pieces I like from different people, and use them in my life.

What has been the most significant challenge you have faced in your preparation leading up to a sporting event? How did you overcome this?

Injuries have been a nightmare for me throughout my career. Some have been major enough to prevent me progressing in certain areas. What I learnt was never to give up. There’s always a way around a problem. If I struggled to do something because of an injury, there was always another part of my training I could progress with.

 What would be your advice for a young aspiring athlete aiming to represent CGA IOM?

Push yourself beyond what you think your limits are regularly. Soon enough, you’ll find that you’ve progressed, and now you’re limits have moved forward.

Where do you see yourself in the future? What aims do you have? Will you stay in sport?

For me, gymnastics has been a massive part of my growing up. I aim to take what sport has given me, and apply to other areas of my life – maybe even a different sport!