Seventeen gymnasts represented Woking at the English Championships. For many, the first competition of the year provided an opportunity to try some upgraded routines, and served as a qualification route to the upcoming British Championships.
Maggie Rees was the first competitor from Woking in the WAG Espoir competition. In her first national championships, Maggie performed well to finish 42nd, with her top score coming on the vault.
Woking had two representatives in the MAG U16 competition. Rio Chandiram completed six routines without falling to earn an 18th place spot. Teammate Oli Porter was trying some big upgrades, and despite a few falls he finished the competition in 8th Place AA, winning a silver medal for his fantastic Rings routine.
The MAG U18 competition began early Saturday morning. Woking’s team of Josh Porter, Joel Ireland, Sarp Orbay and Santo Fuoco were wide awake and ready for business. Joel Ireland showed a vast improvement from last year’s event and recorded a score of 68.300 to finish in 18th place. Sarp achieved a personal milestone in competing his crucifix on rings for the first time, his all-around total was 66.35 (23rd). Santo Fuoco was competing in his first competition for nearly five years, performing on just floor and vault Santo was delighted to take home a bronze medal on the Vault. Star of the show was Josh Porter, he put in a clean and mature performance but unfortunately a fall on his final skill cost him a place amongst the top six. Josh finished the competition in 8th place with a personal best of 73.150, he was also awarded bronze medals for his performances on the Floor and H-Bar.
The showpiece event of the weekend was the MAG Senior competition. Amongst a field containing European, World and Olympic Medallists, Woking’s Jamie Lewis put in a stellar performance to take home the silver medal all around. Jamie showed his class to become English Champion on floor and rings, and won a silver medal on pommels finishing just behind the current Olympic Champion, Max Whitlock. Rudi Moriano was also competing in his first senior competition. He narrowly missed out on a medal on vault and finished 25th AA.
The final day of competition began with the MAG U12 and WAG Junior Competitions. It was great to see our boys and girls competing alongside each other. Mac Griffiths (34th), Caden O’Shea (29th), Lilly Clarke-Moss (30th) and Annabella Higgins (Guest) all gained invaluable experience that they will undoubtedly call upon later in the competition season.
The weekend concluded with the MAG U14 competition. Oscar Mitchell finished his first national championships in 36th place. Max Veo-Creek enjoyed a clean competition and will be encouraged by his 23rd place finish. Jay Coote performed the most difficult floor routine in the competition and just missed out on a medal on vault. He must continue to work on his execution if he is to improve on his 16th finish. Ben Porter had a near perfect start to the competition, scoring the highest vault score of the day, he went on to win silver medals on P-Bars and Pommels and was crowned English floor champion. A late mistake on Rings proved costly and he had to settle for third place in the all around competition.
All told it was a very successful weekend, particularly for our MAG squad who picked up a total of twelve medals spanning four age categories, all apparatus and including three national champions. We await the results of the upcoming Welsh Championships to confirm how many gymnasts have qualified for the British in March. Well done to all gymnasts and coaches involved.