Simm shocked by gold rush

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

Southern success for super Suki

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Kelly Simm has admitted her shock at winning the Austrian Championships.

The former Henry Cort Community College student grabbed individual gold in the prestigious event this month.

The 18-year-old was selected to represent Team GB in Austria – as the squad targeted group glory.

And while they delivered their primary goal, Simm stole the show with the all-around crown – describing it as an ‘amazing feeling’.

She explained: ‘Winning in Austria was amazing.

‘I didn’t expect it at all. We knew we had a strong team and were focusing on getting the title as a team.

‘So to win individually as well – with my best overall score – was an amazing feeling.’

Team GB’s line-up of Simm, Raer Theaker, Angel Romaeo, Georgina Hockenhull and Rebecca Downie notched a score of 162.925 to claim the fourth Austrian Team Open in Linz.

Their tally was 12 points more than the Hungary team, who were second, as they topped the dozen nations taking part.

A total of 140 gymnasts competed in the competition – underlining Simm’s fine gold-medal achievement.

And her winning score of 53.700 came hot on the heels of a superb silver on the beam at the British Championships in Liverpool’s Echo Arena in March, as she continues her emergence in the sport’s elite level.

Simm’s mother, Heather, said: ‘We were extremely proud Kelly was selected to be part of the Great Britain performance squad.

‘We knew she was in first place after two rounds but knew anything could happen.

‘It brought tears of joy to our eyes as we never expected her to win overall.’

Simm, who took up the sport when she was six and is a member of the Dynamo club, first competed at senior level in 2011 – when she took on former world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Beth Tweddle in the English Championships.

It was there she caught the eye of the Great Britain selectors.

She was then invited for trials at Lilleshall and has not looked back.

While she now studies at Itchen College, pupils and staff at Henry Cort keep an eye on her progress.

Principal Phil Munday said: ‘Kelly is an exceptional gymnast and we are very proud of her achievements.

‘She has worked extremely hard from a young age and we wish her every success.’

Simm is next in action at the British Team Championships in Guildford next month. She is also preparing for a series of trial events to make the World Championships squad in Belgium in October.

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