Team effort as Arabian girls stand out

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ARABIAN Gymnastics Club entered six teams – made up of 24 girls – into the recent National Tulips Invitation event, and four of them took podium places.

The event in Spalding attracted more than 140 young gymnasts representing 35 clubs from all over Great Britain.

At level three 18-year-old star Bex Whatmore led the way for her team as they clinched silver, and it was her brand new floor exercise which turned heads as she acrobatically danced to ‘Live and Let Die’ to take the individual gold. Ellie Hewitt was the second highest scorer in the team.

Hannah Bond was the lead gymnast in another Arabian team which claimed third place, with Hannah herself taking a silver medal on beam. Amy Deller and Sophie Fretwell scored second highest in the team, making sure they clinched the last spot on the podium.

At level four Arabian had the depth to enter two teams, and both ended up in the medals, with the silver placed team being led by in-form Molly Harris who picked up two silvers, but was also the number one gymnast overall on the day.

Katie Wood also scored brilliantly for her team, as did Phoebe Copestake who gained silver for her acrobatic vault.

Team two at level four managed to come 3rd overall, led by Casey Hodges who picked up medals as her team took the bronze place. Millie Barnes also did well and Tamzin Hill gained a medal for her energetic vaulting display.

Arabian’s level five team fell short of a podium finish, mainly due to being up against considerably older athletes.

Eight year-old Lara Moffat led the way as top scorer and debutant Karen McEvaddy looked very controlled in her first ever competition as the team finished in a credible 9th place.

The team competing at level six was Arabian’s youngest, with Tayla Smyth, Millie Heathcote, Nell Maze Brown and Emilee Brookes all making the team which were up against girls twice their size and certainly close to twice their age. They still managed a top 10 finish and all managed to fulfil their new floor exercises.

Head coach Alan Armitage said: “Out of the 24 gymnasts, 16 came back with medals and four teams won podium places out of six teams entered.

“Not only that, but 11 gymnasts had to perform new floor exercises. It was an excellent first event of the year and a very promising start.

“It’s hard to be a top gymnast, even when your skin rips off your hand you still have to get on with it. I’m proud of them all.”