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British Championships 3rd 4th & 5th October 2008

Heathrow Aerobics Gymnastics Club Win 4 Gold, 6 Silver and 11 Bronze medals. What an amazing achevment.

For a showcase of exciting British aerobic gymnastic talent, see BGTV's coverage from the British Aerobic Gymnastics Championships at Fenton Manor in October. Going from strength to strength in both performance standards and participant numbers, the competition spanned three full days with over 230 routines.

In the FIG competition, National Development (U 12), it was a close call between the top three Individual Females (IW) with Rebekah Galpin, Bulmershe scoring 16.450 to win. Kay-Lynn Brant from Heathrow produced an excellent routine for second place with 16.300. Team mates Chloe Byne and Molly Bevan also made the top 10, both scoring 15.950 but Chloe took the lead on execution to give her 8th, Molly slipping into 9th. Hannah Lim had a difficulty deduction so came 17th. Hayley Keattch performed a clean routine to come 18th with a personal best 15.100.

Martine's Action Pack (MAP) took the pairs title in this age category and Heathrow's trio of Molly Bevan, Chloe Byne and Hayley Keattch delighted everyone with their excellent performance and surprised themselves when they won the gold with 16.000.

In Group 1 (12-14) IW - several girls were contenders for the title, but Olivia Farrance claimed it for Bulmershe by just 0.2 with 17.450. Isadora Wainwright from Heathrow took the bronze medal with 17.100. Zanna Woods and Lauren King were two more Heathrow gymnasts to achieve personal bests scoring 16.600 (10th) and 16.300 (15th) respectively. Venetia Wainwright came 18th with 16.300; Helen Turner scored 15.950 (24th) and Emma Bevan 15.700 (27th).

In this category Bulmershe won gold in the trios with Heathrow's trio of Isadora, Venetia and Emma just 0.5 behind taking bronze. Weston won the pairs. Isadora, Venetia and Emma were in action again for Heathrow with Hannah Khalfan, Molly Bevan and Helen Turner in the six team - in a very close category they took the bronze, just 0.05 behind the winners.

Group 2 (15-17) IW was the only category to have a qualifying round with the eight best gymnasts to go through to the Sunday final. Bulmershe held the top three slots overnight and managed to maintain its hold on first place with an outstanding performance by Chloe Farrance, 18.250, but lost second and third to excellent routines from Heathrow's Sophie Lewis, who had the highest difficulty score, gaining a personal best of 17.850 and Rosie Webster 17.650. Amy Woods, Heathrow, the only non-squad gymnast to make the final, improved her qualifying score from 16.900 to 17.300 but remained in eighth. Sian Hill, Heathrow sadly missed a final place by 0.1 with 16.800 in 9th place. Lucy Ella, who's been struggling to train properly with injury, performed a good routine to come 16th with 14.750 (out of 20 gymnasts).

Bulmershe's trio of Chloe Farrance, Sebastian de Verteuil and Ellie Spooner won gold in this age group beating last year's champions from Heathrow, Sophie Lewis, Rosie Webster and Sian Hill, into silver position. Weston won the pairs.

The climax was however the Senior IW competition. Hopes were high for defending champion Christina Fossheim, Heathrow, but she lost valuable difficulty points to score 18.850. Last up, Emily Gale, Bulmershe, produced a strong routine and there were tense moments awaiting the news she'd won with 19.200. Katy Barley, MAP, came third. Kirsty Banfield, Heathrow, was pleased with her fifth place in the seniors with 17.350

In the individual men's categories, Sebastian, was undoubtedly the star producing another excellent routine scoring 18.800 to win Group 2. Matthew Saunders, Weston, took the Nat Dev title and Jaime Carter, Bulmershe, the Senior one. Adam Ludwell, returning to aerobics after 4 years, and partner Katherine Saunders, Weston, produced a fun lively routine to win the senior mixed pairs.

The Gymnast of the Year award went to Sebastian, most notably for his winning performance at the 2007 European Championships, and the Coach of the Year went to Martine Griffiths of MAP, for her work as National Squad Manager.   

In the NAC Cup competition, Nat Dev, Niamh Keane delighted the audience with a lovely routine, although she didn't have the highest difficulty, her execution and artistic scores were high, resulting in her well deserved win with 15.200 in her first British Championhips.

In NAC Group 1, Hannah Khalfan, proudly took the bronze medal for Heathrow with 15.450. Ella de Cruz finished 10th with 15.200; Siana Williams came 18th with 14.850 and Firoza Khan, also at her first British, scored 14.000 in 26th place. Ella and Siana then joined forces for a pair coming a brilliant 3rd with 15.100.

In total Heathrow came home with 4 gold, 6 silver and 11 bronze medals. It was a fantastic weekend, once again highlighting the talent at Heathrow- the many excellent performances and personal bests a testament to the hard work being put in to their performances.

Thanks goes to Gary and Natalia for their continued dedication to supporting and developing the gymnasts, both in their coaching and judging roles; to the parents who made the long journey to Stoke and supported the team; thanks too to the many Heathrow parents who also work as volunteers to help run the event; and finally to all the gymnasts. Job well done!

Report By Val Lewis.

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