National stage is set for Xcel stars

Xcel gymnasts Harry Bryant, Callum Archer, Jack Humphray and Felix Comber with their medals and Callum's London Open Champion Trophy. Picture: Mick Young (132820-02)

Xcel gymnasts Harry Bryant, Callum Archer, Jack Humphray and Felix Comber with their medals and Callum's London Open Champion Trophy. Picture: Mick Young (132820-02)

Tyesha Kirton in action. Picture: Gareth Jones/Sport-alive photography

Southern success for super Suki

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Rising stars from Xcel have got their sights set on national glory after a series of outstanding performances.

Callum Archer, Felix Coomber, Harry Bryant and Jack Humphray are making great progress in men’s artistic gymnastics.

The quartet all impressed in the London Open at the Europa Centre recently.

They then went to Basingstoke for the South Region Setwork Championships where they earned qualification to the national finals in Birmingham next month.

Archer, nine, led the way for the Horndean club in the capital.

He shone with a sensational performance to earn overall gold at level one.

Coomber, nine, followed close behind as he picked up silver, making it a superb one-two for the club.

Humphray, 13, who travels from the Isle of Wight to train with Xcel, impressed at level five.

While Bryant, 10, also showed his potential with a strong display at level three.

The quartet then added more glory at Basingstoke.

Archer picked up another first place, with Coomber third.

Humphray and Bryant each secured silver medals.

Xcel head coach Denise Wilkinson praised the squad for their fine performances.

She said: ‘They all exceeded expectations. They were amazing.

‘It shows they have a lot of potential.

‘They are massively well disciplined and train four or fives time each week.

‘For Callum to win and Felix to come second was incredible.’

Archer’s eye-catching displays have seen him likened to Great Britain star Dan Purvis, who won an artistic team bronze medal at London 2012.

His impressive displays and his style of gymnastics, as well as his appearance, have drawn comparisons with the GB talent.

Wilkinson said: ‘People have likened Callum to Dan Purvis.

‘He has a similar type of body build and has got the red hair.

‘He’s becoming known as a mini Dan Purvis.’

Coomber, meanwhile, is following a great family tradition of success in sport.

His mum, Alex, achieved a bronze medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City, in the women’s skeleton event.

As well as strong family support, the work of dedicated coach Lee Carmichael is clearly paying dividends.

The squad’s impressive recent results will act as a beacon for the younger gymnasts, who are looking to follow in their footsteps at the club.

Wilkinson believes they are setting a great example with their hard work and excellent results.

She said: ‘They all have strong family support as well as excellent coaching.

‘Lee is a great coach, who is a really dedicated volunteer.

‘He puts all those hours in with the boys.

‘We have got a whole group of boys coming through.

‘They will be inspired by the results we have been getting as a club recently.

‘Callum, Felix, Jack and Harry are now working extremely hard to make sure the nationals prove to be a big success.’

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