Belfast Telegraph

Ulster gymnasts hit Games standard

By Nigel Ringland

It was a terrific weekend for Northern Ireland's female gymnasts at the Northern European Championships at the Lisburn Leisureplex.

Nicole Mawhinney, India McPeak, Sarah Beck, Emma Gorman and Casey Bell took the bronze medal in the team competition behind Wales and Scotland while 14-year-old Bell was the star of the apparatus finals, winning gold, silver and bronze in the bars, beam and floor exercises respectively.

In addition, Mawhinney hit the target score for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year for the third time while McPeak made it for the second time which is the requirement to be put forward for selection.

Beck achieved the target on the vault and bars for the first time and Gorman on the bars for the first time and with plenty of opportunities to get it again before the qualifying period ends in April, there is now a great chance that Northern Ireland will be represented in the team competition in Glasgow as well.

"They actually overachieved with a team score of over 147, they've all performed well," explained Northern Ireland coach Kim Kensett.

"Nicole and India can now concentrate on developing new skills and getting better.

"They have those skills but up until now we've been trying to keep the routines safe, but its time now to put a few new elements into the routines.

"The medal was a surprise. We haven't picked up a medal in this competition for eight years so for us to do that at home was fantastic."

Belfast Telegraph

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