PROBABLY THE BEST GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THE WORLD

3 Oct 2006

More famous for its exports, Denmark is this month bucking the trend with some major importing. Ahead of the 2006 World Championships (13-21 October), gymnasts from 36 nations are flying out to Aarhus for the 2006 World Championships (13-21 October).

Following victory over Switzerland in a dual meet at Lilleshall on Saturday, GB selectors have confirmed the names of the six gymnasts who will advance to Denmark. Three Welsh gymnasts have made the cut for the final women’s GB World Championship team, making it Wales’ biggest achievement to date.

Olivia Bryl and Lynette LisleJoining Olympic veteran and World A Bars number 1 Beth Tweddle, are Ashling Williams, Liverpool and Emma White (Huntingdon) and the Vale of Glamorgan’s Olivia Bryl, Cardiff’s Lynette Lisle and North Wales’s Melanie Roberts. The Championships herald the toughest test to date for the Welsh trio, who are competing in the event for the first time.

17-year-old Lisle – a recruit to the Sports Council for Wales Élite Cymru scheme – impressed taking silver medal at the British Championships and Bronze at the World School Games to earn herself a place in Denmark.

Melanie Roberts, 18 – who is based in Chester - has the experience of two Commonwealth Games under her belt and a consistency so greatly needed within the GB squad.

18 year old Bryl from Barry has seen success at all levels of her career in Wales. However the impetus of the new national coaching programme has seen her excel to become one of Britain’s leading gymnasts.

Easing the transition to World-class competition is Welsh National Coach Tracey Skirton, who has amassed some 34 GB champions during her 18 year career. Skirton has also been recruited as Team GB coach for the major event and hopes to draw out the best performance from her protégés.

Chair of Welsh Gymnastics Helen Philips said:

"It’s a fantastic achievement to see three of our gymnasts through to the World Championships. This event will be the first World Championships to adopt the new rules, so it’s a great opportunity for the gymnasts to accumulate experience. What is even more important is that this is the first qualifier for GB for Beijing Olympics so there is a lot at stake.

"Their selection is also testament to Tracey’s hard work and dedication, and shows that we have the potential to produce gymnasts that could grace the Olympic stage in 2012."