Arabian girls are flying high

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Arabian gymnasts were involved in a hard fought international competition that saw clubs attend from Belgium, Malta, Jersey and all over the UK.

But they held their own, with many new harder elements tried as one overall placing and eight medals were won.

In an international competition, if the moves are not inch perfect then they will get penalised, but these young athletes tried so hard to impress the flag covered venue, which was packed with over 100 gymnasts, with daring acrobatics.

Ellie Kealy, Lucy Thompson and Emily Kettle were the youngest gymnasts to try their luck in the six hour event. Lucy was unlucky to not gain her first ever medal at this level coming 6th on beam and 4th in the floor exercise and an impressive 8th place overall. Emily’s best was 8th on floor and Ellie took a credible 7th place on vault.

Millie Barnes was so close to 3rd place overall as new moves on bars, beam and floor saw the enterprising youngster come 4th overall. She still took bronze for her balance beam routine, 5th on vault and 6th places on the other two pieces.

The U15 age level FIG modified section saw yet again brave new moves attempted by many of the girls. Sophie Fretwell took bronze and performed a high level dismount. She also picked up silver for her vault and was 5th on beam. Overall she was a healthy 5th place

Luisa Cuthbert was 5th on bars and was in the top 10 on all other pieces as she finished 7th overall.

Poppy Gibbs came 5th on floor and took silver on beam. Lucy Johnston tried a hard move on bars but slipped, and also put out harder moves on the beam, but also slipped, which pushed her down 9th place overall.

Kyla Howton was very unlucky to not medal. She came 4th on beam and would have taken gold on beam and made it a clean sweep on the podium but for one slight error when performing a new move. She was 5th on vault and 6th on floor but her brave efforts on bars proved costly and it dropped her down to 10th overall.

Tionne Cumberbatch won gold for her balance beam and was one tenth away from a medal on floor, coming agonisingly 4th. She also came 4th on bars and was placed 4th overall.

Bex Whatmore took overall 2nd place in the full FIG section and collected silvers on vault, bars and bronze on floor, with a 4th position for her balance beam.

Head coach Alan Armitage was very pleased to have 11 gymnasts in the event and see 10 of them come within the top 10.

The girls wanted to challenge themselves and they wanted to try the harder elements. It was a real brave show. It was also a great preparation for Lucy, Poppy, Tionne, Louisa, and Sophie who, along with 11-year-old Tamzin Hill, fly to Toronto, Canada this weekend to compete in another top international competition.