For one of Noah Kuavita’s most recent gymnastics competitions, he made the Horizontal Bar final at the European Championships in Munich for Team Belgium, and also this year, he won Gold on the Parallel Bars and Bronze on the Pommel Horse at the Belgian Championships in May. In 2021, Noah made the All-Around final at the World Championships in Japan and amongst his other senior competitions, he has competed at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart and the World Challenge Cup in Osijek. Noah is hoping to be selected for the Belgium team heading to the World Championships in Liverpool next month. We chatted to Noah about his recent competition at the European Championships in Munich, winning Gold on the Parallel Bars and Bronze on the Pommel Horse at the Belgian Championships and representing Belgium at competitions around the world.
You recently competed at the European Championships in Munich, how did you find the experience competing at the Olympiahalle?
It was a nice experience, I really liked competing in Munich, the atmosphere was amazing!
What was it like qualifying for the Horizontal Bar final and what was the final like to compete in?
It was amazing, it was one of my goals of the European Championships. It was great competing with all these amazing gymnasts. It was very fun, the crowd was behind me and really liked my routine.
How did you prepare for the European Championships and what did you enjoy most about being part of Team Belgium?
It wasn’t easy preparing. I was coming back from my achilles injury, so there was a little bit of pressure. We really were one team – everybody supported each other, and we got a lot of energy from each other.
In May, you competed at this year’s Belgian Championships, which saw you win Gold on the Parallel Bars and Bronze on the Pommel Horse, how was this?
It’s always nice competing in Belgium, a lot of people came. The venue was packed, it was a nice atmosphere, and it was a big event with a lot of disciplines. It was my first competition back.
Can you tell us about your time at the 2021 World Championships in Kitakyushu?
It was not easy because I was struggling with a back injury. It was my first time in Japan, which was really cool. I’m also happy with my first All-Around final. Hitting my High Bar routine was the best feeling. The video of my dismount also went viral, which was cool.
How is it representing Belgium at competitions like the World Championships and the World Challenge Cups?
I like competing for Belgium, it’s an honour and I like all the support I get from everybody at home watching. It’s nice to compete on one of the biggest podiums with the world’s greatest gymnasts wearing the Belgian tricolore.
It is not always easy competing at these competitions but it was fun and they were also nice locations. I was really happy with my High Bar final in Osijek, and competing my own element in Koper.
What are some of your stand-out highlights from your gymnastics career so far?
The moments I’ll never forget will be competing together with Epke Zonderland at the European High Bar final in 2018. Also, my All-Around final at the World Championships in Kitakyushu, and I can’t forget competing my own element.
Do you remember how you felt being selected to represent Belgium at a major competition for the first time?
It was a great feeling because the first trials in 2017 I didn’t get selected, so I was really disappointed.
Where does your love of gymnastics come from and how did you start?
As a child, I was full of energy and always climbing on stuff. I started because of my sister, she was also doing gymnastics and she taught me some flips at home so I enrolled in the club, and just loved flipping and stuff.
Can you tell us what your typical training day consists of and how does your training change in the lead-up to a competition?
We start with a warm-up two times a week and we do some cardio as warm-up. Then we do some physical work to improve some of our constraints. Then we train on the apparatus and we end with some cardio circuit or weight training. When the competitions come, we train more on our routines.
Have you been given any advice over your time as a gymnast so far that has stuck with you and what advice would you give a new gymnast starting out?
I haven’t been giving any advice that has really stuck by me, but I would say to dream big, then you can achieve big things and to never give up on your dreams.
Are there any sports you enjoy watching and how do you like to spend your time away from the gym?
I like to watch football, I’m a Chelsea fan, and I also watch the Belgian national team.
Do you have any competitions coming up that you can tell us about or that you are targeting?
The competition I’m targeting is the World Championships in Liverpool. Our biggest target for our team is getting selected for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
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