Rhino continues his hurtling progress with powerful show

Joe Lewis Back, left, with Xcel coach Lee Carmichael
Joe Lewis Back, left, with Xcel coach Lee Carmichael
Samantha Maggs picked up this award from British Gymnastics

Recognition for glorious contribution

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Talented Xcel gymnast Joe Lewis Back powered to a superb medal haul in the inter-club championships.

The nine-year-old ace, nicknamed The Rhino, showed his strength as he won gold medals across the board.

It was the first time the Horndean outfit have hosted the competition and with so many talented gymnasts there it was always going to be a high-class show.

Lewis Back was crowned runner-up in The News Sports Awards young sportsman of the year category for 2014.

That prize was a reward for his excellent progress.

Now he has added a haul of Xcel medals to the trophy cabinet.

He was first in the all-around competition and took a string of golds on the various apparatus.

He won rings, high bar, vault and parallel bars, while he finished second on pommel horse.

Dad Rob Back feels the impressive set of results is a reward for the hard work his son puts in.

He said: ‘He loves it. He puts in the hours, 22 or 23 hours a week of training.

‘He never misses it. Even after the competition he was straight back in training. He does well on the rings and the vault especially – he seems to pick up golds.

‘That’s why they call him The Rhino because he is so strong.

‘The competition was really good. The Xcel gymnasts are winning in their own right, so it was the best of the best in action.’

Xcel’s rising-star Back has lots of support from his school St Thomas Mores, in Bedhampton, to allow him to devote the time he needs to his gymnastics.

His latest success will be another boost ahead of some big competitions ahead, including the London Open in September.