Regional medals for Arabian gym girls

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ARABIAN Gymnastics Club was the only club in the whole of southern England to have 14 gymnasts qualify for the regional championships, and they did the city proud.

Out of the 14 talented girls to take part – aged from eight to 18 – they collected a new record regional medal haul of 23 which included no less than eight golds, including champions on floor, bars, vault and beam.

With 25 clubs taking part and a total of 209 gymnasts competing, the girls had no gymnast out of the top 17.

The club had an overall champion in Bex Whatmore (17) who won gold on every piece of equipment including her balance beam which saw some of the most spectacular elements and tumbles of the whole competition.

Becky Matcham, 10, was unlucky as her slight step on her very last tumble was enough to cost her being an overall champion. She had to settle for the runner-up spot but did take gold on beam.

Right on her tail was the impressive nine year-old Millie Barnes who was just 0.15. She collected bronze on beam and was placed as bronze medallist overall,

Tamzin Hill had a good competition ending up in 6th place and also taking bronze for her acrobatic vault. The 10-year-old started her sport in the club’s baby gym so to reach the regional finals is a wonderful result

Katie Wood, 10, also came 6th place and took bronze on the balance beam, and Molly Harris would have had a top five finish but slipped to 16th after two errors on bars, but she took it all in good spirits and still came away with a deserved silver on beam.

Tionne Cumberbatch took bronze on floor, while Poppy Gibbs was one place behind and Emily Ashley finished in 17th after coming 8th on the vault and 7th on beam.

A good top seven finish on beam gave Louisa Cuthbert a top 15 finish and 12 year old Sophie Fretwell was crowned regional vault champion and took 9th overall.

Ellie Hewitt continued her fantastic recovery from an operation by taking silver on the vault and beam which gave her bronze overall and Hannah Brookie Bond was crowned the regional bars champion, won three slivers and came second overall.

The youngest member to take part was Phobe Copestake who was 17th in her first ever regional event.

“To bring back 23 regional medals is quite something,” said Arabian head coach Alan Armitage.. “To have two girls that started in baby gym and now win regional medals is really special.”