Portsmouth gymnasts shine in Florida Presidential Classic

Portsmouth gymnasts picked up a great haul of medals in Florida. Picture: Sarah Standing (160455-4961)
Portsmouth gymnasts picked up a great haul of medals in Florida. Picture: Sarah Standing (160455-4961)
The talented City of Portsmouth boys' squad. Picture: Matthew Reeds

Southern region joy for Portsmouth boys

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Gymnasts from Portsmouth turned on the style to pick up a great haul of medals from the prestigious Presidential Classic competition in Florida.

Members of the Alex Way-based Portsmouth Gymnastics Club (PGC) made the trip to Orlando to show their skills at the ESPN Sports Complex with almost 3,000 competitors, representing 14 different countries.

Portsmouth gymnasts had a great time in the USA. Picture: Sarah Standing (160455-4950)

Portsmouth gymnasts had a great time in the USA. Picture: Sarah Standing (160455-4950)

First up were Niamh Hilton, Tasia Reeds, Olivia Dawson, Emily Shears, Grace Taylor and Hannah Judden.

Unfortunately Grace Markey could not compete due to illness.

Hilton took overall eighth place, with Reeds and Dawson finishing 11th and 12th respectively and they earned six individual medals between them.

The rest of the level seven group shone with Emily Shears finishing fourth all-around and sealing gold on vault with the highest score of the competition.

Grace Taylor finished ninth all-around and took three medals.

Finally Hannah Judden took fourth place all-around and earned medals on vault, asymmetric bars and floor exercise.

The team finished fourth, half a point off a medal.

Gymnast Taylor said: ‘It was amazing.

‘The competition was so fun and I really enjoyed it, the support from the USA was really nice too.

‘I was so happy I got some medals to remember it forever.’

PGC’s level eight team were also split into two age groups.

The first age group saw Sydney Whittle (fifth place), Georgia Luff (sixth place), Claudia Garner (eighth place), and Ellie-Mae Peach (11th place).

In the second group, Emily Goss finished 10th all-around, also taking medals on vault and floor as the level eight team finished fourth.

Meanwhile, Maisie Lloyd-Jones was PGC’s individual entry into the level-nine category, and she earned three individual apparatus medals to secure an excellent sixth-place overall.

Portsmouth boys’ level five gymnasts were in sensational form.

Joshua Windebank’s outstanding display saw him win the overall all-around title and golds on floor, pommel horse and parallel bars.

Sullivan secured golds on the rings and high bar and silver overall.

Dylan Harris (third) and Alfie Ball (eighth) helped the team seal silver.

The level eight boys won team gold with some superb displays.

Kurtis Stanley finished third all-around, while Joseph Devine took gold on parallel bars gold and was fourth all-around.

In the older category, Jack Helps (first all-around), Louis Brunnen (second all-around) and Harry Hayes (eighth all-around) all starred to win lots of individual apparatus golds.

Coaches Samantha Maggs, Tina Field, Jason Helps and Adam Paterson were delighted with the results after the squad returned home with more than 50 individual medals.

Parkwood Community Leisure and the Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre provided great support to enable the coaches and the gymnasts to travel to the USA.

GDM made a donation towards the kit and other local companies helped to make the trip possible.

For more information about the club and sponsorship opportunities email Helen Reeds at Helen.reeds79@sky.com