“It’s just there’s been a lot that I’ve had to get through,” she said. “I can’t put it into words. I came into this competition with no expectations. I just wanted to do my best.”
It was a brilliant performance on the beam, where Godwin put in a competition-high score of 13,750 as English stars Alice Kinsella and Ondine Achampong faltered, which set up her memorable victory.
She sealed the deal with a score of 12,900 on the floor. Godwin’s score of 53,550 secured her de ella first Commonwealth Games gold – an upgrade on her all-around silver on the Gold Coast – ahead of Achampong (53,000) and Canada’s Emma Spence (52,350)
And she did it all on adrenaline, admitting she barely slept the night before after the teams event. Even still, she stuck to her disciplined competition routines of rehabilitation and nutrition.
“I feel like I was just lying with my eyes closed for half the night. I honestly don’t know how much sleep I got, but you gotta get up, you gotta get to the gym, you got to do the best you can,” she said.
After a late finish the night before, it was a tuna and cheese sandwich for dinner before bed, followed by a bowl of muesli and yoghurt for breakfast with a cup of tea. A banana was all she needed for lunch before she went out to strut her stuff.
“I try to keep it quite healthy and fresh, with what I need. Like some days, I will have a sandwich before, but today, I didn’t quite need it because of the late dinner last night,” she said.
The grueling routine – four consecutive days of competition – is a first for the Queenslander. Ella she’s not sold that’s it’s sustainable, but she is not one to complain.
“You can’t change the schedule,” she said. “You just have to get up and do the best you can.”
Godwin was the third-highest qualifier after Kinsella and Achampong, who were coming off helping England claim team gold ahead of Australia. The Australian was fifth after scoring 13,300 on the vault, but an outstanding uneven bars routine with a perfect landing delivered a score of 13,550 and lifted the Australian into third, 0,700 off leader Kinsella.
Then the competition opened up when leader Kinsella fell off the beam, failed to complete her routine and went over time. Godwin capitalized, completing a brilliant routine by dismounting with a double somersault in the pike position to earn a score of 13,750 and leap to the top of the leaderboard, ahead of Canada’s Emma Spence. Achampong then also fell off and recorded a score of 12,500, further opening the door for Godwin to triumph.
At 24, an athlete’s career is more often than not just beginning, but Godwin conceded this may be the peak. While she remains focused on the three individual events ahead – vault, uneven bars and beam – she is eyeing a break before she contemplates whether to go on to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“I need to put my body and mental health as a priority,” she said.
“I’ll be taking a break, and then reassessing. I’d love to make Paris, but at the moment, it’s a day-by-day proposition by competition.”
Before that, a teary phone call with her parents, Gene and Mari, at home in Southport was the priority.
“They might be in bed, I’m not quite sure it is late in Australia,” she said. “But I’m sure the waterworks will start again after that.”
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