Fanni Pigniczki of Hungary competes in Group A Rotation 2 of individual all-around final of rhythmic gymnastics at the 31st FISU Summer World University Games in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, July 30, 2023. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
After winning two golds at the Chengdu Universiade, Hungary's star rhythmic gymnast Fanni Pigniczki is aiming high at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
CHENGDU, July 31 (Xinhua) -- "After today's competition, I will go to see pandas," said Hungary's star rhythmic gymnast Fanni Pigniczki, who just won a gold medal with the Ball on Monday and claimed the individual all-around title on Sunday at the Chengdu Universiade.
The 23-year-old gymnast said she really enjoyed the three days of competing in Chengdu Sport University Gymnasium. "This Games means a lot to me, I have never won this kind of medal in such a big competition. It feels amazing, and I felt the superb energy from the audience, so this is a different but great experience."
After Pigniczki earned a berth for Tokyo 2020 through her performance at the 2021 European Championships in Varna, Bulgaria, she became the first Hungarian rhythmic gymnast to compete at the Olympic Games since compatriot Viktoria Frater attended Sydney 2000.
Now, Pigniczki's greatest ambition is to compete at Paris 2024. "We will have the qualification competition for Paris 2024 Olympic Games in a month, and I really want to be qualified," she said.
Gold medalist Fanni Pigniczki (C) poses for photos during the awarding ceremony. (Xinhua/Wang Jingqiang)
Pigniczki was born into a sports family. Her grandfather Laszlo Pigniczki represented Hungary in table tennis and won a silver medal in the men's team event at the 1959 World Championships. Her father played on the Hungarian junior national table tennis team.
She took up rhythmic gymnastics at age five. "When I was a kid, I have tried all kinds of sports like swimming, basketball, ballet, and dancing. But I fell in love with rhythmic gymnastics because there is never a feeling of readiness. I could always improve more."
She is studying at the Hungarian University of Physical Education and Sports Science, majors psychology, which she said does help her a lot in dealing with stress and managing feelings. "I rarely focus on medals. I just want to get better," said Pigniczki. ■