Portsmouth set the bar high with classy show in Milton Keynes

Portsmouth gymnasts
Portsmouth gymnasts
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An impressive display from Portsmouth Gymnastics Club boys’ squad saw them win a series of regional titles in the annual Setwork Championships in Milton Keynes.

The competition serves as the main selection event for the boys to gain selection to the South of England teams that will compete at the national finals in Birmingham next month.

Portsmouth Gymnastics Club's boys squad members

Portsmouth Gymnastics Club's boys squad members

Connor Sullivan and Kurtis Stanley have both made the southern region team at elite level.

Joshua Windebank, Jack Helps and Dylan Harris won all-around titles to also book their spots to represent the south.

They will be joined by club-mates James Carmichael, Harry Hayes and Joe Devine in Birmingham.

In level one, Louie Knowles finished ninth, while Carmichael took fifth place – a great achievement for someone who has only taken part in men’s artistic gymnastics for five months.

We are all very proud of the steps forward taken by this squad

Adam Paterson

Harris produced a great performance to surprise everyone and take the all-around level two title.

Unfortunately, team-mate, Alfie Ball had to withdraw due to an injury in the week leading up to the competition.

Windebank continued his excellent form to produce a near faultless performance to win the level three title and secure a place on the regional team.

The level six category was dominated by PGC as they took all three medals.

Helps won the category, with Devine securing the silver medal and Hayes taking bronze.

Under-eight gymnast Faris Akhtar competed difficult routines in his first year of grades competition to win the pre level-one elite title, but is ineligible for regional selection until 2016.

Connor Sullivan showed his progress to finish third at elite level two (under-10), while Kurtis Stanley secured the silver medal at elite level five (under-13).

Three of PGC’s pre level-one gymnasts (under-eight) gained valuable experience before they are eligible for selection next year.

Ethan Jackson Lowe (fourth), John Leeming (eighth) and Samuel Owen (11th) all competed well and showed their potential.

PGC head coach Adam Paterson said: ‘We are all very proud of the steps forward taken by this squad.

‘This was shown again with eight national finalists achieved from a possible nine places up for grabs.

‘We look forward to the national finals in November.’