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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Furness gymnasts land nine-medal haul

FURNESS gymnasts used home advantage to the full as they won nine medals at the latest tournament.

Held at the Furness Gymnastics Club headquarters on Hartington Street, Barrow, 50 youngsters displayed their strength and acrobatics in intense competition at the Cumbria Gymnastics Association Two-piece Novice Individual and Team Championships.

Children from the newly-formed Millom Gymnastics Club joined the Furness, Kendal and Carlisle clubs to compete at the novice competition, where gymnasts had to compete on two pieces, but could not take part in the floor and vault together.

This meant they had to compete on either bars or beam and one other piece of their coach’s choice, with the 12 Furness gymnasts impressing with their skills in the under-eights, under-10s and 11 and over categories.

The first group to compete were the under-eights, with Lily Wilson, Niamh Sharples, Olivia Knagg and Nicole Abernethy representing Furness in their first competition.

Knagg stunned the audience when she reached dizzy heights in her straddle to claim silver before securing another second place on beam.

Abernethy produced a beautiful routine on floor, controlling her full spin superbly as she joined her team-mate on the podium for the bronze medal.

After a nervous warm-up on bars, Sharples pulled it together for the judges, giving them a well thought-out routine to earn the silver medal.

Finally, Wilson stuck her forward roll on beam, helping to bring in the silver team medal.

The more experienced Furness under-10s team used their past competition experience to their advantage.

Olivia Rawlinson attempted a backward walkover on beam for the first time in competition and flew over the full vault with a handspring to take the gold.

Emily Law matched Rawlinson’s feat, with a fluid routine on bars, with both gymnasts scoring more than a mark more than their competitors.

Niamh McNally was the next to medal, taking bronze on beam, while Tyler Johnson and Chloe Martin battled their way through their respective beam and floor routines, adding up the score to claim the under-10 team silver.

In the final 11 and over category, Fran Barry, Jessica Goldsworthy and Maddison Almond teamed up for Furness, while Isla Pemberton, Olivia Rae, Alexandra Lowery and Ellie Turner represented Millom.

Jessica Goldsworthy performed a round off flick tumble run for the first time on floor and Almond reached a full range in her split leap dance series as the team took gold, almost six marks clear of the other clubs.

The medals did not stop there for Furness, as Barry also battled it out on vault and bars to be crowned individual champion in her respective pieces.

Pemberton claimed bronze for Millom on bars, with her team-mates stepping up to the plate to take the bronze team medal.

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