Norfolk club enjoys success home and abroad

Annie Young, second left, with the Oolympics Hopes team. Picture: Bill Young

Annie Young, second left, with the Oolympics Hopes team. Picture: Bill Young - Credit: Archant

Annie Young – fresh from her success on her international debut at the Rushmoor Rosebowl competition – travelled to the Czech Republic for her first competition on foreign soil as part of a six-strong team of British juniors competing at the prestigious Olympic Hopes competition in Liberec.

As the name suggests, the competition caters for up-and-coming gymnasts destined for the highest ranks of the sport – many have gone on to win world and Olympic medals.

Annie, 13, was again the youngest member of the squad but performed with experience and maturity to help the team to a convincing victory and team gold medals. She also earned a very impressive sixth place in the individual all around competition, performing particularly well on the asymmetric bars earning a career high score of 12.8, which was top of the GB gymnasts and qualified her to the final on this apparatus in third place.

Meanwhile, in Guildford, the national age group finals took place for nine- and 10-year-old gymnasts following the elite pathway. Ellen Symonds, nine, from Mattishall, competed as part of a four-strong East team who dominated the team competition taking the team golds. Ellen's individual performances were near faultless and she placed fourth overall. When combined with her scores from the grades competitions earlier in the year Ellen took the silver medal as the second best nine-year-old in the country.

Romanian-born Alina Ciausu, 10, competed at level 3 where this time the East earned team silver – Alina was the leading individual gymnast, hitting all of her very testing routines to take the overall bronze and place fifth in the combined rankings for 2017. These rankings should earn both Ellen and Alina selection to the Great Britain development squad for next year.

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Norfolk Academy of Gymnasts head coach Sara-Jane Inglis said: 'To once again have gymnasts competing so successfully at these high level competitions at home and abroad in the same weekend is testament to how far the club has come.

'All three of these gymnasts have a great approach to their gymnastics, working hard in the gym day after day and doing it all with a big smile. It is fantastic to see them start to reap the rewards. All are capable of going on to even bigger and better success in the future, and Annie's exploits in particular are a fantastic inspiration to young gymnasts everywhere in showing that gymnastics in Norfolk is truly on the up.'

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