Home » Sports » Gymnast Doriyo Scores a First

YOUTHFUL gymnast Mercy Doriyo has become the first ever Zimbabwean to qualify as Aerobics Primary Brevet judge for international competitions, which also involves judging at the Olympics.

Doriyo, who is 21 years old, has joined an elite panel from the continent, which makes her one of the five judges to hold the qualification in Africa.

With just under 10 years of experience in gymnastics, Doriyo will now be officiating at international events alongside two other judges from Namibia, two from Egypt and one from South Africa.

Doriyo told The Herald yesterday that she never imagined she could become the first ever young gymnastics judge from Zimbabwe.

“It is unbelievable. I worked really hard to reach where I am now and I never imagined myself to be the first young aerobics judge.

“It was not easy, but because I am very passionate about this sport, I have reached this far. I am aiming really high and not turning back because I want to be the best judge.

“When I was young I used be very scared, but because of my passion for the sport I continued to work hard. To be part of the judges at international competitions is a dream come true and that is why I will continue working hard,” said Doriyo.

Her duties now will include taking up roles as a judge at the Olympics and World championship level.

Gymnastics Zimbabwe vice-president Chris Muchatuta described Doriyo as a hard-working girl who is very passionate about the sport.

“I knew that she was going to be the best coach and judge she has the talent. We are all very happy and proud of Mercy.

“She has come a long way and for her to reach this stage, it is good news for the association and our nation,” said Muchatuta.

Doriyo was born in Glenview in 1993 and is the eldest of three daughters. She did her primary education at Budiriro 1.

She was introduced to artistic gymnastics at Budiriro Community Centre in an outreach programme of Zimbabwe Gymnastics in 2005. She was shortlisted at a Powerspeed Recreational gymnastics competition and then underwent trials for the development squad.

Doriyo was then offered a place in the Rhythmic gymnastics programme and started training with the squad later in 2005.

She then took part in her first Zone 6 competitions in Namibia at “entry” level. The following year she moved up to the “full” pre-junior team. She at that stage began to train and compete in aerobic gymnastics and rhythmic.

The young Doriyo continued to work her way through the various levels consistently, competing at Zone 6 competitions.

She was a member of Team Zimbabwe’s gold medal-winning group in Harare last year. Doriyo was also a diligent student at Queen Elizabeth where she attained three As and seven Bs at O-Level.

She passed her A-Levels with 12 points in 2012, the same year she represented the country at the African championships.

Doriyo started learning to judge rhythmic gymnastics locally aged 15 and at the age of 18 she judged rhythmic gymnastics internationally for the first time as a “national” licensed judge, which in the gymnastics world is called brevet.

Source : The Herald