ODETTE RICHARD

Odette Richard has risen to claim the title of national champion in rhythmic gymnastics on several occasions. In a sport relatively new to South Africa, the young gymnast was crowned junior national champion in 2001 and then again in 2002, when she also became African champion. She was competing on the world stage by 2003, having been selected to represent South Africa at the World Championships. The following year she collected one silver and five gold medals at the African Championships. She went on to take three silvers and a bronze at the junior Commonwealth Games. In 2005, the national champion was put forward as a finalist for the SABC's South African Sportswoman of the Year award. Richard retained both her national and continental titles in 2006 and travelled with the South African team to Melbourne to compete at the Commonwealth Games. She is currently training to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

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