National success for local gymnasts

FIG gymnasts.

FIG gymnasts. - Credit: Archant

Weston gymnasts enjoyed considerable success at the Alex Strachen Cup national championship in Reading.

WESTON gymnasts travelled to Reading last weekend to compete in the Alex Strachen Cup national championship.

The first competition of the year was set to be even more challenging as gymnasts competed under the new code of rules following a successful Olympic cycle.

It was a confident 50-strong squad that arrived in Reading, with several gymnasts competing for the first time at regional, national and international level. Gymnasts had a large and highly-qualified coaching team working to support each competitor.

Top score for the club came again from Matt Saunders, who got gold in the junior male individual and then teamed up with fellow British squad teammate Myfi Mountford from Bulmershe to perform a stunning mixed pairs routine to win gold.

Weston’s other top mixed pair, Rhys Williams and Kiera Landen, showed great maturity to win the 12-14 group mixed pairs. Rhys then went on to perform a powerful and dynamic individual routine and won a silver medal.

Rhys and Keira then teamed up with Amelia Barrett to win the bronze medal in the trio section of this age group, with a stylish Scottish themed routine.

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Also getting the bronze medal in the trios, but now competing at junior level, were Beth Kemmish, Emily Antoine and Maddy Reynolds.

It was a first outing for the squad’s youngest competitor, nine-year-old Gemma Handley, who showed tremendous potential by winning the female individual in confident style.

Next youngest was Ellie Hayes, who has just moved from regional to national in the 10-11 age group. Against a large field of competitors she won a well deserved bronze.

At the next age group up (12-14), Ben Payne, also in his first national competition, showed his strength and charisma to win the gold medal and the club’s top national score.

Also in the 12 to 14 age group, the new pair of Victoria Kemmish and Millie Meese won the silver medal. In trios, Katy Tossell, Katy Day and Lara Hunt showed improvement in their skills and won the bronze, with new group Cally Bullock, Izzy Worrall, Lara Hunt, Katy Tossell and Charlotte Painter winning the silver medal in the five-team.

The 15-17 age group proved to be of similar success, with both trios competing excellent routines. However, new trio Amy Bond, Lucy William and Grace Maggs had to be content with silver medal, as the experience of Dani Lintern, Kat Forster and Jade Hunt paid off to win the gold with an excellent score.

Age 15-17 pair Lucy Clarke and Courtney Hewett won the bronze medal with a new routine, with the regular partnership of Lucy Williams and Grace Maggs winning the silver.

Lucy Williams had a superb weekend of competition as she also won the gold medal in the five-team alongside Jade Hunt, Kat Forster, Dani Lintern and Courtney Hewett.

Jade Hayes finished off the national competition in fine style by winning the silver medal.

Eighteen gymnasts from the club competed at the regional level and bought home a total of 20 medals, the majority being gold.

Toby Baker, aged eight, competed for the first time and won a well-deserved gold medal. Lewis Harvey at the slightly older age of nine, also performed an excellent routine for a gold medal. He went on to join Emily Williams in the pairs to get another gold medal. Molly Brown, also nine, did a superb job at her first competition to win the silver medal.

Eight-year-old Willow Neal was superbly calm during her routine and should be delighted with her bronze medal

In the 10-11 year old age group, Weston again had great success. The new trio of Ella Hutchinson, Lauren Porter and Holly Avery won the gold medal and were delighted to be told by their coaches they now move up to national level.

The female individuals in this age group also had an excellent competition. Rachel Anderson delivered a good solid performance to win the gold and Ella Mai Paige sparkled her way to the bronze medal.

Rachel moved up an age group to compete with teammates Robyn Campbell and Sophie Avery, winning the 12-14 trios, getting the gold in the pairs was Lauren Tossell and Anna Cates, with Emma Heeney delivering a neat routine to win female individuals and Ffion Dando had to settle for bronze.

Age 15-17 pair Harmony Potter and Kiera Gullick finished the day in style by winning the club another gold medal

The club were delighted to have so much success at the first competition of a new four year cycle and in particular with all five of the club’s boys getting on the podium and all the gymnasts showing how well the development plan is working.

The next competition is for Matt Saunders, who has been selected to represent Great Britain at the French Friendship Cup next month, with head coach Debbie Saunders travelling at team manager.

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