Simm boosts bid for Commonwealth title

Kelly Simm. right, with fellow Hampshire athletes who are keen to make the England team for this year's Commonwealth Games, Mia Ritchie (netball, Sam Potts (Judo) and Laura Edwards (gymnastics)

Kelly Simm. right, with fellow Hampshire athletes who are keen to make the England team for this year's Commonwealth Games, Mia Ritchie (netball, Sam Potts (Judo) and Laura Edwards (gymnastics)

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

Southern success for super Suki

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Kelly Simm is well on course for Commonwealth Games selection after landing an impressive runners-up spot at the recent English Championships.

The 18-year-old Whiteley gymnast, who represents Dynamo School of Gymnastics, has her eyes fixed on England team selection for the Glasgow event, which starts in July.

And she did her cause no harm with an impressive performance at nationals in Wigan to claim a silver medal – eventually edged out by Bristol’s Ruby Harrold by less than half a mark.

Another good display at the forthcoming British Championships should rubber-stamp the GB squad member’s selection in what she is hoping will be a breakthrough 2014 that could prove to be a positive step on the road to Rio in 2016.

The News Sports Awards 2013 sportswoman of the year runner-up’s recent efforts would suggest she is in prime position for selection for the Commonwealth Games. And on this evidence, she also has every chance of challenging for a medal in Scotland when the event rolls around.

However, Simm knows she needs to perform well at the Echo Arena in Liverpool this weekend before she can start preparing to go up against the Commonwealth’s leading gymnasts.

It’s not the only high-profile event on her agenda, though, as she also has her sights set on making the Great Britain team for the European Championships in Sofia in May.

Debbie Richardson, director of training at Dynamo, said: ‘We are all immensely proud of Kelly.

‘She has been working extremely hard on her routines and at last has the self-belief necessary to compete with the best.

‘Her next major competition is the British Championships in Liverpool.

‘This latest result in Wigan will have stood her in good stead for her European team challenge.’

While her overall performance at the English Championships saw Simm grab second place, a new floor routine earned her top spot as she showed her abilities to register a fine score of 14.050.

The teenager previously identified the bars as an area of weakness but she claimed a creditable sixth place in that discipline – despite some minor errors.

She followed that up with another decent showing to take fifth place on the beam.

Simm also showed she is a serious competitor in the vault as well as she secured an impressive bronze medal.

Now she will switch her attentions to the British Championships, where she will go up against the top domestic competitors for overall and individual discipline honours.

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