Young gymnasts show Olympic potential

PIPERS Vale Gymnastics Club have finished the men's competitive season with two boys ranked in the top ten for their age group.

PIPERS Vale Gymnastics Club have finished the men's competitive season with two boys ranked in the top ten for their age group.

A personal best performance from Jordan Lawrence in the Under-12 competition sealed him a well-deserved 10th place, while George Chanarin battled through the pain barrier for ninth place overall and a bronze medal on vault.

These results firmly puts both boys, Chanarin in particular, in the frame for the next Olympic Games as they will be 16 and 18-years-old respectively by the time 2012 comes around.

Pipers Vale coaches Will Banthorpe, Taurean Hambling and Andrew Crawford were delighted with their gymnast's performances.

Banthorpe said: “To have two gymnasts ranked top 10 in the country is fantastic and for George to bring back the club's first British medal was the icing on the cake.

“With these youngsters looking so promising, who knows what will happen next year.”

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The south Ipswich-based club saw seven boys qualify for the prestigious Men's British Championships held recently in Dagenham.

In the Under-12 age group competition was fierce, with over 70 gymnasts representing the cream of Britain's young talent battling it out for the title of British champion.

After their recent successes at county and regional level, Pipers Vale's Lawrence, Geoff Bethell, Adam Steele, Charlie Seller and Tommy Nicolaou performed their routines to the judging panels for the final time this year.

The boys immediately settled into the competition, despite the cut-throat atmosphere, performing almost faultless opening routines on the floor and the pommel horse.

Lawrence continued to perform some of his best ever routines throughout the rest of the competition to make him the club's top scorer with 71.1 and see him to a well-deserved 10th place - an amazing achievement and a personal best.

Nicolaou (70.75) and Seller (68.35), two of the clubs youngest gymnasts, had unfortunate slips on rings and vault, but finished strongly on the parallel bars and high bar to see them home in 12th place and 21st place respectively.

Steele (67.5) and Bethell (67.25) also continued their strong start throughout the competition finishing in 27th and 29th place respectively.

In the Under-14 competition, Pipers Vale had Chanarin and Gabriel Hannah amongst the 47 strong group of 2012 hopefuls from across the country.

With national squad coaches looking on, Chanarin gritted his teeth and battled through an on-going shoulder injury to put in a fantastic performance with hardly an error on any of the six pieces.

With a total score of 73.25, Chanarin finished in ninth place, his score of 14.0 on the vault also earning him a spot on the podium and a bronze medal for this individual apparatus.

Meanwhile, in his first British Championships, Hannah (68.8) performed brilliantly to finish in 21st position after unfortunate slips on the parallel bars and floor exercise.

For more information about Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club and their classes please call: 01473 433676, or e-mail: admin@pipersvale.co.uk .

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