Some of Britain’s top junior boys returned home from competition in Germany recently wearing a sweet glow of success. UK sporting achievement is always very welcome especially when it involves emerging talent, and when glory is earned internationally it certainly adds to that winning feeling. It’s also another pointer to just how strong gymnastics is becoming across our clubs and academies.
The Cottbus Wohnen Junior Trophy provided some enthralling competition with plenty of excitement and high drama to match. In fact, six of our best junior boys made the trip with medals very much in mind. Such was their dominance they not only took the overall title but also finished more than 30 marks ahead of their hosts securing lavish praise along the way.
Age ranges are very important at this stage of a gymnast’s career, and in this particular event, there were three involving under 13, 15 and 17-year-olds. Each group saw some outstanding personal performances from the British team of Oakley Banks and Sam Mostowfi from the vibrant Pegasus club, Danny Crouch based at South Essex, Jack Stanley, a favourite at Leeds, Remell Robinson-Bailey from the Earls club and Korben Fellows from the ever popular City of Birmingham.
13 Is A Lucky Number
Everyone at Pegasus was thrilled to see the effervescent Oakley Banks lift the all-around champion Bronx crown in fine style. His absorbing routines impressed the judges greatly as they awarded him a total of 74.500 marks. Looking closer, this versatile young athlete made five apparatus finals collecting a score of 13.150 on the floor – more than enough to claim Gold. Consistency was key, as he also ran up a score of 12.450 on the vault, to claim another leading medal. It was in every sense a dynamic effort as part of a hard-working team.
Danny Does us Proud
It seemed to be a case of ‘If Oakley can make five finals, so can I’, as Mr Crouch set about claiming what turned out to be the group runners-up spot. He excelled on the testing high bar to build a score of 12.300. This was enough to win him a glittering Gold.
As for his colourful floor contribution, 13.050 proved adequate enough to claim a Silver. Danny rounded off another Silver with a nice round score of 12.000 on the rings.
Double delight without question for the team.
The Old One-Two Again
The under 15 age group saw the same pattern eventually emerge with Jack Stanley making all six finals. No surprise then to see him claim the Gold with a superb score of 76.05 and encouraging acknowledgement from the judges.
It was a performance full of promise for the future. On the rings, Jack pushed his way to a score of 12.400, good enough to put a Gold medal around his neck. Another highlight saw the Leeds based teenager lift a Silver with a pulsating pommel routine earning 12.250 marks. Enter the parallel bars where our man showed no signs of waning on his way to a score of 12.600 and a Bronze medal to boot. He wasn’t finished, of course, adding a vault Bronze to his collection amassing 12.400 marks.
Remell Robinson-Bailey wasn’t holding back either in grabbing second place, giving everything to reach five finals. His brilliant work on the Pommel earned a strong total of 12.300 marks and a shiny Gold medal. The motto is if you can’t win an event, stay in the top three, and Remell carried it out to the letter with a Bronze on both floor and rings. Scores of 12.500 and 11.900 were more than respectable.
Going on 17
The under 17 section was as tough as ever, but Korben Fellows still looked highly competitive, running up a Gold in the pommel and a Bronze on the rings. He performed very admirably indeed in the all-around running up a score of 74.450. It certainly all bodes well for the next few years and his contribution to the team was first class along with Sam Mostowfi. The Pegasus powerhouse worked himself into sixth place with a score of 73.750, and still managed to reach five tremendously entertaining finals, never losing focus. One of the most fascinating performances saw him secure a valuable Bronze on the vault scoring 12.875.
This terrific team effort helped put together an overall total of 447.45, leaving little doubt as to which way the honours went. Every coach, official and of course, gymnast, could feel the love. A memorable trip to Europe, and a reminder to all our clubs of what’s possible collectively – especially in a gymnastics competition.
It really is all about the team.
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