[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Livingston Scott reports on athletes Tyesha and China Mattis for the Jamaica Gleaner.
Former Great Britain gymnastics prodigy Tyesha Mattis and her sister China are both in Jamaica completing a naturalisation process with a view to turning out for Jamaica.
Mattis has had an injury-plagued career since becoming a senior in 2014 but has decided to make another comeback, this time under the Jamaican flag.
Born in London, England, to Jamaican parents, Tyesha and China have represented England and Britain throughout their youth careers, with Tyesha even been hailed as one of the most exciting juniors to come through the British age group ranks. The accolade came even as she was competing in one of the strongest groups of juniors in the country’s history, inclusive of names like Ellie Downie, Amy Tinkler, Catherine Lyons, and Teal Grindle.
Tyesha, has won gold medals at numerous national and international competitions from 2008 to 2014 but stepped away from the sport in 2018 after sustaining a string of injuries.
However, she was constantly pushed by her mom, Charmaine Clarke, to return to the sport, and when Jamaica Gymnastics Association (JGA) president Nicole Grant-Brown reached out to Clarke, the former gymnast and coach jumped at the opportunity to have her girls represent Jamaica, which was also a dream of hers during her competitive years.
Tyesha said competing for Great Britain was a pleasure but, on her return, she wanted to do something different.
“I wanted to go to Jamaica and represent my homeland and it felt right. As soon as I landed it felt like a blessing and I am so grateful my mom did everything to get me here to have an opportunity to show my talent,” she said. [. . .]
China, a former British level two champion, is a talented gymnast in her own right and wants to create her own legacy.
“I want to show how different my floor is from my sister’s because she is a different gymnast from me. There are different pieces that we are good at and I just want to show what I am good at,” she said.
The 16-year-old will represent Jamaica at the Pan Am Games next year. [. . .]
For full article, see https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20220615/british-sisters-make-switch-jamaica-gymnastics
Also see, “British gymnast Tyesha Mattis hoping to compete for Jamaica”
TV Jamaica, June 15, 2022