West gymnasts Phoebe Turner and Ruby Harrold showed their potential by winning medals at the British Championships at the Echo Arena in Liverpool last weekend.
Rookie Turner, who is based in Street and is still only 12 years of age, won a superb silver in the vault, while Harrold, her 16-year-old team-mate at the Academy of Gymnastics in Portishead, was third in the senior asymmetric vault discipline.
“It was a tremendous achievement for both girls to win medals at the nationals,” said coach Nia Edwards.
“Only the top eight girls in the country for each discipline qualified for the event, so just to get there was quite something.”
Having reached the main event of the domestic season, Turner was clearly determined to make her mark and the youngster showed tremendous temperament and skill to make the podium for the second time in her young career.
“That is a significant achievement for Phoebe and, hopefully, it will be a springboard for further success,” added Edwards.
Gordano School student Harrold, who is 16, had to call upon all her experience not to let a fall in the bars disrupt her performance.
“That fall would have cost Ruby a whole mark and when you consider that normally only 0.1 points can separate first from third it was significant,” said Edwards.
“But the winner also fell, so you couldn’t say Ruby would have won, but these things happen.”
The two medals were the highlight of a terrific show by the Academy of Gymnastics, which underlined its position as one of the top clubs in the West Country with three other girls reaching the finals and two making the reserve list. Imogen Chan (floor), Abigail Solari (vault) and April Maslen (vault, bar and floor) all made the final eight, but just missed out on the medals, while Maisie Dodds (bars) and Charlotte Bennett (vault) were on the reserve lists.
Finally while Lucy Brett and Hollie Moore did not make the individual finals, they qualified for the all-round championships.
“To have nine girls make the British Championships with two winning medals is a terrific achievement for the club and we are very proud of the girls,” said Edwards.