Best of mates in London battle

THOMAS Pichler and Joshua Jefferis are the best of mates.

They train together at the Queensland Academy of Sport in Brisbane, they used to live together on the Gold Coast, and they will even room together during the Australian Gymnastics Championships in Sydney this week.

Both would love to represent Australia in the Olympics - but they know that won't be happening.

There is just one seat left on the plane heading to London and the pair, who have known each other since they were 13, are both hoping to get the ticket.

Pichler's favoured discipline is the floor, while Jefferis shows most talent on the rings, but whoever is selected will need to compete on all six apparatus as an all-around gymnast.

The Austrian-born Pichler said challenging his mate for the one place on offer was far from ideal.

"It would certainly feel a lot better to not be in this position," the 25-year-old said. "Ideally we would have liked to both go, but we know that's not possible.

"Saying that, we've competed against each other in the past though so we know what to expect.

"We don't do too much different. We both just do our own thing in training and will go to Sydney to win."

Jefferis said it wasn't going to be easy going up against his mate.

"It's so hard because we're both trying to achieve the same thing ... we cannot let emotions come into it," the 26-year-old said.

"Tommy will go about his job and I'll focus on my mine.

"Whatever the outcome, we have the upmost respect for each other and we'll work together and support each other.

"It's going to be a dream come true for whoever makes it out of the two of us."


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