INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT, POREC, CROATIA
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A group of boys from the Club travelled to Porec in Croatia for the 9th International Tournament to compete against gymnasts from Croatia and Slovenia.
Nathan Dunstan represented Great Britain in the Senior Competition, with Barry Winch attending as coach and Franz Doleschal as judge. A number of the younger boys represented the Club in the Junior (U17) and Pre-Junior (U15) competitions, with Nick Blanton and Sue Snelgrove attending as coaches, and Sam Hunter attending as judge (injuries meant that he was unable to compete for GB, as had originally been planned).
In the Senior Competition, Nathan had an excellent all round competition and won the gold medal, also qualifying for 5 of the apparatus finals, though a couple of minor injuries meant that he only competed in 3. He won the gold medal on parallel bars and high bar with impressive, stylish routines and came 2nd on floor.
In the Junior Competition, the competition was stiff, with boys from the Croatian national squad taking the top places. However, Ben Taylor finished in 5th place and Jake Houtby in 6th, ahead of the Slovenian boys, and both qualified for 5 apparatus finals. In the finals, Ben demonstrated his newly added “cross” in his rings routine to take the gold medal on rings, whilst also winning bronze on floor and high bar.
The Pre-Junior competition was for gymnasts in the Under 15 age category and was dominated in the all round by the Croatian national squad boys, with Matthew Liddiard (aged 10) finishing in an excellent 5th place, Toby Shouls (aged 12) in 7th, Sam Woodford (aged 12) in 10th and Jairaj Jandu, who is only 9 years old, finishing in a creditable 16th place. Matthew Beverley and Nathanael Fittro only competed on 3 pieces each.
Matthew Liddiard qualified for 4 apparatus finals on pommels, rings, vault and high bar; Sam Woodford qualified for the vault final; and Nathanael qualified for the rings and floor finals. Despite qualifying for the rings final with the highest score and performing an excellent routine, Nathanael had to be content with the bronze medal, while the other boys just missed out on medals with 4th and 5th places in the finals.
This was an excellent performance by a very young team from the Club at a very friendly and enjoyable competition.