Success for Gymnasts in Bulgaria
Claire Thompson, Grace Blacklock and Robyn Birch. Connor Bartlett and Millie Spalding
On Wednesday 6th May four gymnasts from the Academy travelled to Samokov, Bulgaria for the 3rd International Tournament for Clubs. Connor Bartlett (Year 7), Robyn Birch (Year 10) along with members of staff, Grace Blacklock and Claire Thompson were selected to compete. Connor and his partner Millie Spalding were representing Great Britain for the first time in the 11-16 Age Group Mixed Pairs. Senior Womens Group, Thompson, Blacklock and Birch were representing the London Gymnastics Federation.
The competition was tough, with teams from across Europe taking part. With the GB National Coach and London regional coach both present it was a chance for the partnerships from the Academy to impress.
Claire, Grace and Robyn performed excellently throughout the competition and the standard of their gymnastics was way ahead of the rest of the field. The trio brought home two gold and one silver medal for their efforts, finishing in the Gold medal position overall. It’s the first big win for the partnership since Robyn moved to the Academy and demonstrates the strength of the club internationally. The trio are now in a fantastic position ahead of the World Cup in America in July, the World Games in Taipei and the European Championships later in the year in Portugal.
Connor Bartlett (Year 7) and his partner Millie were among the youngest competitors on the Great Britain squad. It was the first international for the partnership, and after performing two routines in qualification, they entered the finals in a very respectable 4th place. Unfortunately the pair had to withdraw due to illness, but their achievements in Bulgaria demonstrate the potential for the Academy gymnasts to achieve more excellent results later in the year.
Coach Mrs Maxwell said: “I am absolutely delighted at the success of our gymnasts in Bulgaria. Both partnerships showed the amount of talent and potential they have to do well internationally. We now have to focus on qualifying for this year’s major competitions.”