After an exciting eight months at senior level, Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva is headed to Sofia, Bulgaria for her first ever FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships.
"I remember only last year I watched World Championship online with much excitement, so this year being a competitor at the event it is certainly a proud moment and it is very exciting, but focused on the job to be done as well," Kiroi-Bogatyreva said.
The 16-year-old only turned senior at the beginning of the year and has had little time for a break between the competitions. Preparation for World Championships started at the same time as the Commonwealth Games.
Qualification for World Championships is a two-stage process with the first step being the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championship held in June before a month later at the AIS the current top five gymnasts were tested in a closed competition by Australian and International judges.
While Australia could send four individual gymnasts and a group to Sofia in the end, only two gymnasts, including Kiroi-Bogatyreva and Ashari Gill, and a group made the final team.
Gill and Kiroi-Bogatyreva train together at the Prahran Rhythmic Gymnastics Centre and became friends nearly nine years ago when they first started beginners classes at Prahran as six-year-olds.
The World Champions is one of the pinnacle events of the gymnastics calendar so it has become an important competition of gymnast the world over.
"Just like in any other sport World Championship is pretty much the most important competition of the year unless it is an Olympic year, so I would say on the scale of importance out of 10 it ranks 11," Kiroi-Bogatyreva said.
The World Championship sees the top talent in rhythmic gymnastics but Kiroi-Bogatyreva feels prepared after having competed at three World Cups and a Commonwealth Games.
She has also spent up to 30 hours in the gym with her coach and working on her routines plus long sessions of physiotherapy, sports psychologist and at recovery sessions.
At the Worlds, Kiroi-Bogatyreva will be looking to concentrate on completing elements, making good connections and being strong and energised.
However, after the Worlds will see a quick turn around as she goes straight back into training with one if not, the most important event in the world coming up in 2020.
"For me, straight after the competition we (my coaches and myself) are back to the 'drawing board' working on brand new routines," Kiroi-Bogatyreva said.
"This is going to be a very exciting process as after the Worlds I am planning to change every routine and most likely this will be the biggest step towards Tokyo 2020," she said.
The 2018 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will be hosted between September 10-16.