Sunday, 18 July 2010: In a World Championships which involved 180 gymnasts from 25 counties, Great Britain achieved their best ever results.
The last day of the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Wrozlaw, Poland was marked by truly unique British success - both our Men’s Pair and Men’s Four won World titles in their respective categories.
Men’s Pair: Douglas Fordyce & Edward Upcott
Men’s Four: Adam Buckingham, Adam McAssey, Alex Uttley, Jonathan Stranks
BG Technical Director for Acrobatic Gymnastics Matei Todorov commented: “Put it this way: we came to Poland with representatives in only 3 out of the 5 disciplines and will return home with 2 Gold and 2 Silver medals (Women’s Trio Jennie Miller, Katherine Smith, Emma Walters, and Team event, where GBR are behind Russia, and ahead of Ukraine, USA, China and Belarus.)”
“This is by far the best World Championships result achieved by our athletes since I was appointed 23 years ago, and is the best present I could have received before my retirement. The only dream I have left now, is to see Acrobatic Gymnastics included in the Olympic programme,” concluded a deeply moved Todorov.
Personal coach of all our Senior World Champions and medallists in Poland is Neil Griffiths, (Heathrow GC, London). This is also the man who brought the phenomenal “Spelbound” to national and international fame by winning the popular TV Show “Britain’s Got Talent”, only a few weeks ago.
“ I can’t describe how I feel!” said Neil immediately after the Awarding Ceremony.
“I need time to digest what has happened to me and my gymnasts here in Wrozlaw; especially today, when first Douglas and Edward won the Men’s title and then the two Adams, Alex and Jonathan followed in their footsteps- unbelievable!”
So how did the month long trip around of the country of “Spelbound”- winners of “Britain’s Got Talent” affected their performances at the World Championships?
“It was a tough month. Wherever we were, we were looking to find a gym to train properly. We knew that the World Championships requires much more than performing in “Spelbound” - increased difficulty of the routines and immaculate execution. I can tell now that all our experience with the show has helped our athletes to achieve this remarkable success. They’ve learned how to keep cool and collected and they performed beyond my expectation. There is no happier person in the world than me tonight!” said Neil.
1. Great Britain (Douglas Fordyce & Edward Upcott)- 28. 662 (with highest Difficulty Tariff in the Final, 10.012 pts)
2. Russia 1- 28.506
3. Belarus - 28.052
4. Bulgaria 5. Ukraine 6. China 1 7. USA 8. Kazakhstan
1. Great Britain (Adam Buckingham, Adam McAssey, Alex Uttley, Jonathan Stranks)- 28.854 (again, highest Difficulty in the Final, 10.004pts.)
2. China 1 – 28.801
3. Russia 2 – 28.552
4. Belarus 1 5. Ukraine 2 6. Poland
These results achieved after the huge success of the British Age Group gymnasts – 2 Gold and 5 Silver medals, indicate clearly that there is now an established “British School of Acrobatic Gymnastics”, which has a great future in world competitions.
· Neil Griffiths was one of the most versatile acrobatic gymnasts, having competed in three disciplines within the sport: Tumbling, Men’s Four and Mixed Pair.
He has worked with three different partners: Melanie Cook, Emily Crocker, and Rebecca Low and taken part in four World Championships - 1995 through to 1998, when he won the World overall title with Rebecca Law in Minsk, Belarus. They were members of Spelthorne GC, coached by Alison & Bob Cooper.
· The First British World Champions in Men’s Pairs, in 1998, were Martyn Smith and Mark Flores, from Deerness Valley GC, coached by Karl Wharton.
· The first World title in the Men’s Four for Great Britain, in 2006, belongs to Adam Denny, Adam Dobbs, Adam Smith, Andrew Price, from Bromley Valley GC, coached by Barbara McDuff.