A former Glyn pupil is feeling confident about securing a place at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow after an excellent showing at the UK School Games.
Jack Neill, who last month celebrated excellent A Level results with an A* in maths, A* in further maths and an A in physics, won a bronze medal in the pommel horse competition and came fourth overall across all the gymnastic disciplines.
The 18-year-old represented the Ewell secondary school and Northern Ireland at the Games, held in Manchester earlier this month. It was the fifth time he has competed in the event.
"It went really well for me and I'm pleased with how I performed," said Jack, who has deferred taking his place to study engineering at Cambridge by a year in a bid to be part of the Ireland team competing in Scotland later this year.
"I knew that the pommel was going to be my best event so I was pleased I managed to get a medal and I was pleased to have finished fourth overall but I was very close to finishing first. It was just a little mistake that cost me."
The current British U18 pommel horse champion, a title previously won by Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith, began training at Tolworth Gymnastics Club at the age of five, and has already competed at the 2012 European Championships and 2013 European Youth Olympics.
"I used the School Games to try out new routines for the Northern European Gymnastics Championships, which is another trial event to get into the team for the World Gymnastics Championships," Jack continued. "My focus at the moment is solely on making sure I'm at the World Championships and I'm feeling very confident about my chances of making this team."
The Sainsbury's 2015 School Games was a multi-sport event for the UK's elite young athletes of school age. The annual event, along with its predecessor the UK School Games (2006-2011), have a strong track-record of providing a springboard for athletes who then go on to compete at a national level.
The event sought to create an inspirational and motivational setting that not only provided elite young sports people with the opportunity to thrive and perform at the highest levels, but encouraged more young people to take part and succeed in sport.
Around 1,600 of the nation's finest young sports stars competed and gave a good insight into the make-up of teams for both the 2016 and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Youth Sport Trust organised the Sainsbury's 2015 School Games, which was supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England.
The Northern European Gymnastics Championships will run between September 18 and 20 at the University of Limerick. Glyn School belongs to the GLF Schools group, a rapidly expanding chain of 14 schools across Surrey and Berkshire.
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