Stoke-on-Trent once again hosted the National Compulsory Level 2 Finals on the weekend of 2/3rd October, which was also a qualifier for the coveted British Championships, set to take place later in the year. Packed with nearly 150 gymnasts trying to score over 54.500 points across five pieces to move up to the elite “British” club, the competition was going to be fierce.
On Saturday in Round 1 representing Woking GC, were Farah Rothwell, Annabella Higgins and Isabelle Millen. It’s not easy to start with Range & Conditioning, a piece where you must show a mix of strength, balance and flexibility, but the girls delivered a superb performance with Annabella scoring whopping 12.10 and finishing inside the top 20 on this piece.
Next up was Vault where all three girls delivered solid performances, followed by Bars, where once again Annabella Higgins showing tremendous work earning another 12 + score and getting complimented by the National coaches for her performance on this piece.
Having had a bit of wobble on Bars, Izzie Millen and Farah Rothwell knew they had to hold their nerve on Beam to deliver clean routines and that’s exactly what they did. Composed, solid work earned enough to stay on track with their target scores.
However, it wasn’t over yet and there was still work to be done on Floor to decide whether they would hit the 54.50 total and earn the right to perform at the biggest domestic competition: The British Championships. First up was Annabella who, showing her natural elegance combined with good tumbling skills, scored 10.600 resulting in a total of 55.300 All Around and with it, a place at the British. Next up was Izzie and there is no other word to describe her routine but masterpiece. Her tremendous showing also dazzled the judges, who rewarded her routine with a score of 11.950 meaning she ended up in the top 15 on this apparatus and finished with a total of 55.425, joining Annabella in qualifying for the British. Last but not least was Farah whose natural power and poise gained her a score of 11.700 on Floor and an All Around score of 54.850, meaning all three girls scored enough to qualify for the illustrious British Championships.
A massive congratulations to the girls whose hard work, dedication and determination culminated in fantastic results, meaning they will now compete alongside Olympic medalists on the biggest domestic stage at The British Championships.
Good luck for The British Championships, Team Woking!
The South East Regional Championships took place across the weekend of 18th/19th September at Guildford Spectrum. Just shy of 150 gymnasts were competing, 8 of whom represented Woking, in what was the first regional competition for more than 18 months.
The first action of the weekend was the ‘Copper’ competition which, due to the large number of competitors, was split across two rounds. There were 5 gymnasts from Woking competing in round 2 at this level: Kimberley Ly, Zara Naidu, Shannah Culwick, Julia Hamasaki-Colombini and Heidi Woodhatch. Each of the girls performed exceptionally, showing great composure and elegance across all pieces, with their hard work and dedication over this challenging period coming to fruition as they won silver in the team event. But the success didn’t end there for these girls as they also recorded a further 6 individual medals. The first of these was 3rd place all around for Kimberley, with Zara finishing 4th. Next came the individual apparatus medals, where Kimberley won gold on vault to give her a full set of medals, with Zara and Julia finishing just outside the medals in 5th and 6th respectively. On beam it was Zara who would take the top step on the podium to earn herself gold, joined by her teammates Julia and Kimberley who finished joint 3rd. The last of the medal presentations were for floor, where Heidi topped the scores to win gold, with Kimberley finishing 6th, meaning Woking girls had won gold in 3 of the 4 individual apparatus events. A fantastic return to competition from all of them, doing their club immensely proud!
Next up for Woking was round 6 on Sunday, which saw the turn of Farah Rothwell, Annabella Higgins and Isabelle Millen in the Compulsory 2 event. This event was the practice run before their national finals at the start of October. Despite the nature of this particular competition, and having not competed for quite some time, the girls delivered a superb performance culminating in a team bronze medal, meaning every Woking gymnast competing at these championships left with a medal. Annabella and Izzie finished the competition with scores of 56.750 and 55.975 respectively, both passing with flying colours. Annabella also took the accolades for 1st place in Range & Conditioning, as well as 2nd on bars. Farah, competing for the first time in 3 years and also carrying an injury, mustered 5 outstanding routines to score 51.900, narrowly missing the pass mark. These 3 will head to Stoke-on-Trent in a couple of weeks for their main event, buoyed by the results from this competition, hoping to hit the pass mark to qualify for the British Championships in November.
After nearly two years without competitions, eight of our Men’s Artistic Squad travelled to the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff to take part in the British Championships.
The weekend began with the Under 16 competition. Joel Ireland competed his Healy on P-Bars for the first time, but mistakes across the other apparatus proved costly as he finished in 39th place. Not long back from injury, it was a similar story for Josh Porter; whilst clearly disappointed with his 24th place finish, he can be proud of a solid H-bar routine and upgraded vault. Sarp Orbay enjoyed a great day amongst a tough field. Despite a fall on P-Bars, Sarp’s improved routines were enough for him to score over 70 for the first time and cement a top 10 finish.
With Saturday morning came the turn of the U18s. Christian Fuoco’s preparation had been hindered by a positive COVID result but he showed great determination to compete across all six apparatus and even found the courage to complete his double back dismount off H-Bar. Christian finished the day in 19th place AA. Also competing was Charlie Rose, nerves got the better of Charlie in the early stages of his Pommel routine but he was able to perform an impressive Flair Magyar. He composed himself for rings, performing a tidy routine with just over a mark in deductions.
The showpiece event of the weekend was the senior competition. With all of the team from Tokyo taking a well-earned break; the door was open to crown a new British Champion. Unfortunately it was not the day Jamie Lewis had hoped for. Whilst he showed flashes of brilliance, a number of errors and falls condemned him down into 9th place. Fraser Griffiths had a mixed day, making mistakes on Pommels and Floor, but going clean on P-bars and Vault. Fraser demonstrated great attitude and team spirit to motivate everyone around him. Tim McCarthy can be pleased with his performances as he bounced back from a fall on P-Bars to perform good routines on Pommels and Vault.
Injuries are unfortunately a part of our sport, and our thoughts are with Rudi Moriano and Jasper Smith-Gordon who had to withdraw before the competition due to injuries sustained in training. Jasper has undergone surgery for a ruptured Achilles and we send him our best wishes as he recovers at University in America. Rudi’s injury was fortunately not as severe and he was able to attend the competition as a spectator. His support throughout the day was very much appreciated. Well done to all the gymnasts and coaches. Full results and videos of the routines are available on the BG score app.
On the 9th of February 2020, our Floor and Vault competitive gymnasts competed at the Surrey Tumble and Trampette competition. It was a very successful day for our Woking gymnasts taking home a total of 35 medals throughout the day meaning that over 70% of the Woking gymnasts stood on the podium!
Clara, who competes in the Novice category, was the youngest gymnast of the day to take home the gold! We had our Intermediate level gymnasts; Tom, Harry, Charles, Finley, Freya take home gold medals as well as our Advanced, Bronze, Silver and Gold gymnasts; Jamie, Mabel, James, Max and Laila stand on that top podium! The other gymnasts that were awarded medals are:
Silver: Rhys, Tamara, Leo, Olivia P, Keira, Poppy, Scarlett, John, Josie, Oscar, Archie, Georgina, Libby and Josie
Bronze: Sophia, Olivia K, Callie, Amelie, Gracie, Ethan, Jack L, Jack D
We are so proud of all our gymnasts that competed on the day and hope that their success will continue in the upcoming Floor and Vault competitions.
Twelve of Woking’s Boys Squad qualified to represent the South East Region at this year’s National Elite and Club Grades Finals in Birmingham.
The weekend started with the Club Level 6 competition. Sarp Orbay and Joel Ireland both enjoyed good competitions, performing all their routines without major error. The two of them could only just be separated, Sarp (7th) beat Joel (9th) by just 0.05 but together their scores summated to earn the South East team a Bronze medal.
Tom O’Connor was Woking’s sole representative in the Club level 5 competition. He performed routine after routine with technical mastery and style to score an impressive 65.800 and won the competition. In addition to his gold medal, Tom was awarded an invite to the club development reward camp.
Saturday morning started with the club level 4 competition. Jamaal Kashim helped his team to a bronze medal with his stellar performance. Scoring 63.350, Jamaal finished the competition in 6th place and will also join Tom at the club development reward camp.
In his first appearance at National finals, Hayden Blackmun contributed to his team’s gold medal in the club level 2 competition. The standard was high, and Hayden’s score of 61.400 put him in 36th place out of the 63 competitors.
Saturday concluded with the start of the elite competition. Alex Donchev had a mixed day in the Elite level 5 competition. Despite sticking his handspring front somersault vault and performing a good h-bar routine, falls on the other apparatus proved costly as he slipped down to 12th place in the standings. Oliver Porter was competing in the Elite level 4 competition. He was the top scorer on pommel horse but made mistakes on PPP and Rings causing him to narrowly miss out on a podium position and finish in 4th place AA (62.050). This was enough to earn him an invite to the GB squad selection day in December. He will be joined at this day by his older brother Josh Porter. Josh was competing in his final level of the elite grades competition and can be pleased with his 5th place finish helping the South East team to win the bronze medal at Elite level 6.
With Sunday morning came the turn of the Elite Level 2 competition. Woking had four members of the six man team. Jay Coote competed on just five apparatus due to injury, he scored 33.150 AA. Harrison Lamble helped the team with good performances on Floor and PPP, his AA score of 54.000 put him in 31st place. Team mate Max Veo-Creek enjoyed a good day at his first national finals including a 9.850 score on vault. Max finished in 29th position (55.350). The standout performance of the day was by Ben Porter. He delivered seven clean routines including two scores of 9.900 on Vault and H-Bar. Ben finished the competition in third place (64.750), he will join his two older brothers at the National Squad Selection Day as he hopes to gain a place in the GB Foundation Squad for 2020. Collectively, the South East team were winners of the silver medal.
A great weekend for Woking and the South East team concluded with the Region being awarded the Blakeborough Trophy recognising us as the most successful region across the Elite Grades competition. Well done to all involved.
Thirteen members of our boys’ squad travelled to Pegasus Gymnastics Club to compete in the South East Grades qualifier. With gymnast entered across nine different categories, it was a busy morning for our coaches but the gymnasts delivered with some good routines. Ben Porter was competing in the elite level 2 category and registered the highest AA total across all the age groups, his score of 65.467 ensured he took home the gold medal and was crowned regional champion. Four other gymnasts were also awarded the title of regional champion in their respective age categories; Oliver Porter (elite level 4), Thomas O’Connor (club level 5), Alex Donchev (elite level 5), and Sarp Orbay (club level 6). There were silver medals for Josh Porter (elite level 6), Joel Ireland (club level 6) and Jamaal Kashim (club level 4). All in all, Woking qualified thirteen gymnasts for the national finals in November, more than any other club in the region. Well done to all the boys who competed, the list of qualifiers is shown below.
Elite level 1- James Fricker
Elite level 2- Ben Porter, Max Veo-Creek, Jay Coote, Harrison Lamble
Elite level 4- Oliver Porter
Elite level 5- Alex Donchev
Elite level 6- Josh Porter
Club level 2- Hayden Blackmun
Club level 4- Jamaal Kashim
Club level 5- Thomas O’Connor
Club level 6- Sarp Orbay, Joel Ireland
Woking’s representation at this prestigious event began on the Saturday morning with five of our U14 gymnasts competing in the “Max Whitlock” competition. Josh Porter was the highest placed Woking athlete, despite a fall on H-bar he finished in a respectable 8th place AA (68.85). Sarp Orbay looked much improved and scored 65.10 to take the 19th spot. Woking gymnasts also occupied the 20th and 21st place spots; Alex Donchev (64.350) and Joel Ireland (64.300) showing some good routines. Tom O’Connor had a clean competition and finished in 26th (62.60).
The senior competition that followed, the Westminster cup, was to be the final trial for the upcoming world championships, as such the standard was high with the best gymnasts in the country vying for a spot on the plane to Stuttgart. Jamie Lewis picked himself up well after the disappointment of last weekend’s British Teams to finish in fifth place AA (80.35), he also won a bronze medal for his routine on the rings. Timothy McCarthy was competing on just three apparatus, he completed clean routines on Pommels and P-Bars but unfortunately fell on his new vault. Lorenzo Carrozzo was competing in Woking colours for the final time, an injury at last weekend’s British Teams meant he was just performing on the Pommels. It was not his best routine, we wish Lorenzo good luck and hope he has better fortune as he starts the next chapter of his life at university.
Sunday morning began with the U18 competition. Jasper Smith-Gordon again proved himself to be one of the best junior gymnasts in the world as he twice scored over 14 to take home gold medals on Floor (14.100) and the vault (14.500). Teammate Fraser Griffiths competed on four apparatus and picked up a bronze medal for his rings routine.
Woking had two gymnasts competing in the inaugural “Brewer Trophy” for U12 gymnasts. Oliver Porter performed some great routines but mistakes on Rings and P-bars knocked him just outside the top six. He finished in 7th place AA (67.350) and won a gold medal for his H-Bar routine. Jamaal Kashim did not have the best of days, he suffered a number of falls and ended the competition with an AA total of 54.850 (36th).
The final competition of the weekend was the “Trevor Low” competition for U16 gymnasts. Neither Christian Fuoco nor Rudi Moriano were competing on all six apparatus. Christian’s highest placing was 16th on floor whilst Rudi managed a 17th place finish on rings.
Jasper Smith-Gordon from Woking Gymnastics Club has won a brilliant bronze medal on vault at the 1st Junior Artistic World Championships in Gyor, Hungary!
On the final day of the Championships, Jasper competed fifth in the final and scored an average of 14.183 for his two vaults to guarantee a bronze medal. His first vault scored 14.466, with his second scoring 13.900.
Guildford Spectrum played host to the Advanced, Bronze, Silver & Gold competition on Sunday 30th June, welcoming gymnasts from all across the South East region. 24 of our Floor & Vault squad were entered to compete across 3 rounds and all performed to a very high standard.
Round 1 set the bar high with some very impressive performances. At Advanced level, Jamie Simons won bronze in her category and at Silver level, so did Olivia Kraus. A strong showing from Matilda Swift at the Advanced level meant she finished in 7th place, closely followed by Brogan Barrott and Lexi Freeman. Maia Harmsworth, Ada Hanif, Isla Hanif and Josie Prince all also competed well at Advanced, narrowly missing out on top 6 finishes. The Advanced boys showed great composure as they took the maximum number of medals on offer. Rhys Samuel topped his group to win gold, followed closely by Max Pittard in second and Charles Dadswell in third, whilst Jack Dadswell won gold in his category.
Round 2 marked the start of our Bronze and Silver competition. Eleanor Whitaker put in a strong performance to earn sixth place, narrowly missing the qualification score for the Silver level. Leo Bontempo got bronze in his Silver category as did Ella Davies in hers, with Riley Morris and Esme Finch close behind.
In round 3, our Bronze competitors Toby Spencer and Roisin Fellowes finished in 1st and 5th in their respective groups. In the Silver competition, impressive performances from Kate Lee and Alexandra Mulvey resulted in 3rd place finishes in their respective groups. Amy Smith excelled to finish in second in her group, with Olivia Pearson close behind.
Woking had eleven gymnasts competing across five different age groups. In the U9 competition James Fricker finished 4th scoring 65.500. Ben Porter picked up an impressive haul of 7 medals (2 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze), finishing second AA with a total of 76.250. Harrison Lamble was 7th AA (70.850) earning himself a bronze medal on the vault. There wasn’t much to separate the remaining Woking gymnasts – Jay Coote 8th (70.600), Hayden Blackmun 10th (69.950) & Max Veo-Creek 11th (69.900).
In the afternoon session, Josh Porter and Sarp Orbay were competing in the U14 category. Despite mistakes Josh finished 2nd AA with 68.700, picking up a further 5 apparatus medals, most notably gold on pommel and h-bar. Teammate Sarp scored 61.600 to finish in 3rd AA, he too collected a number of apparatus medals including a silver for his P-bar routine. In the U16 competition Rudi Moriano finished second AA (63.200), earning an additional four apparatus medals (Silver on floor and vault, P-bar and H-bar Bronze). Also competing in the U16s Charlie Rose performed on just 4 apparatus; he completed all his routines without falls and was rewarded with three silver medals. Finally in the U18’s James Miller put in some consistent performances to finish third on every apparatus and earn the bronze AA with a score of 66.150.