Portsmouth acro stars are set for national stage

Portsmouth acro squad have been in superb form as their training pays off
Portsmouth acro squad have been in superb form as their training pays off
Anna Bridge

All-star Anna shines in Rushmoor Rosebowl

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THE Portsmouth Gymnastics Club acrobatics squad are flying high in their first season at the Alex Way centre.

The hard work in training has paid off with two partnerships achieving qualification to national finals.

Robyn Nightingale and Aurora Howard were the first duo to book their places on the big stage.

They were followed by Lauren Eriksen and Morgan Dunmore who also impressed and earned a great reception from the audience for their spectacular routines.

The Portsmouth Gymnastics Club (PGC) acro talents have also secured south of England regional representation for 17 gymnasts.

Senior acrobatics coach Phil Johns is thrilled with the results achieved and the way they have excelled since moving to the Portsmouth club.

He said: ‘We are really proud of all the gymnasts who performed so well.

‘To get two partnerships to national finals and so many to represent the south of England in our first year at PGC is an incredible achievement.

‘It is a fitting reward for all their hard work.’

The preliminary event was held at Southampton to select the team to represent the south of England at national finals next month.

Only one partnership qualifies in each category so the competition for places was very tough.

The partnerships finishing second or third earn southern region selection for an inter-regional competition.

The first success was from PGC’s youngest entrants, Hattie Robbins, Grace Rutherford and Olivia Kerley, who finished third in grade two groups.

Nightingale and Howard then qualified for the national finals at Stoke in grade two pairs with a beautiful routine which was awarded the highest artistry score of the whole day.

At grade three pairs, Emily Treacher and Isobel Kerley took fourth place, with Hannah Teal and Lauren Copestake finishing fifth to narrowly miss out on a qualification spot.

The afternoon competition saw Chloe Bowman and Abbie Stream thrilled to get a deserved silver medal at grade four pairs, after finishing fourth in their past three events.

The grade four group of Caitlin Robson, Amy Dapson and Ellena Bekker performed their routine with great style.

They were very unlucky to miss out on a national finals place by only 0.07 marks, finishing second.

The highest graded pairs had to perform two different routines.

Ellie Langton and Millie Smith produced two lovely routines to finish third to qualify for inter-regionals.

The day finished with Eriksen and Dunmore in sparkling form.

Dunmore’s Mexican handstand with Eriksen earned a great reaction from the audience as they won their category to seal their national place.

Samantha Harris, Maddy Pharoah and Frankie Wilson were all given wild-card entry to the inter-regionals.