The British Masters and the Under 14 event featured on the last day of competition at the 2008 Men’s British Championships.
The Masters saw the top 8 performers from the Seniors; Under 18 and Under 16's combine to do battle to be crowned the Champion on each piece of apparatus. The format creates huge excitement as the young guns look to prove themselves against the Seniors
The Under 14 competition brought the proceedings to an end in style. The young Men again demonstrating the fantastic depth of junior gymnastics in Britain as we head to 2012 and beyond.
The Under 14 Title was shared between Heathrow’s Thomas Gibbs, and Frank Baines of Southport, who both finished on exactly the same score of 80.300. Anthony Wise from South Essex claimed Bronze.
First up in The Masters were the Pommels and Floor finals. Louis Smith, Olympic Bronze medallist showed exactly why he has made such a name for himself by taking the Pommel Horse Gold. The Floor went to Under 18 All-around Silver medallist, Theo Seager (Bury) who one again proved the incredible talent of the British Junior’s.
The Rings event was won by Under 18 All-around Champion Daniel Purvis (Southport), with Bury’s Theo Seager taking the Vault title to add to his Floor Gold.
The Masters concluded with the Parallel Bar and the always-dramatic High Bar final. Olympic All-around Finalist, Daniel Keatings (Huntingdon) took the P.Bars with newly crowned British Senior Champion, Kristian Thomas (Earls) the High Bar.
Kristian Thomas has become the new British Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Champion!
The second day of the 2008 Men’s British Championships from Goresbrook Leisure Centre, sees the Under 16’s, Under 18’s and Senior’s do battle.
With the Junior Men’s British Team winning a historic European Team Gold medal this year, and with Olympic Bronze medallist Louis Smith, and Olympic Finalist and Junior European Champion Daniel Keatings competing, the crowd are set to see some truly World Class gymnastics performances.
To cap of a superb year for Kristian, having been a part of the hugely successful Junior Men’s European Team and making a name for himself on the International scene with several Grand Prix performances, the Earls gymnast was delighted to take the title: “I’m over the moon, I just came here today to do six clean routines and I knew if I did that then the scores should carry me through, I’m just overwhelmed at the minute. Come to the end of the year now with one more competition left in Stuttgart and it’s just been fantastic. I've always wanted to be British Champion but the competition has been a bit of a nemesis for me in the past. The last 2 years though have been a great surprise as I've managed to go clean and I’m just really happy to have won.”
Kristian took advantage of the absence of 5-time winner Ross Brewer and last years Champion Daniel Keatings, with Ross injured and Daniel not competing on all apparatus. Huntingdon’s Luke Folwell came closely behind Kristian in Silver with Steve Jehu of Leeds in Bronze.
The Under 18 competition was always going to be one of the highlights of the whole event with many of the Junior European Gold medal winning Team on display. Daniel Purvis (Southport) again showed his class to take the title ahead of recent Glasgow Grand Prix debutant Theo Saeger (Bury) and Woking's Richard Mochrie.
Under 18 British Champion, Daniel Purvis: “It’s a great honour to win and I'm really made up, this year started off well and just got better and better. I’m feeling more and more confident all the time and am looking forward to even better things next year.”
The Under 16’s started off Day two, with Ashley Watson of City Of Leeds claming the All-around Gold with a huge cheer from the crowd greeting the news that he is the British Champion. Following Ashley, two more young gymnasts that have been making names for themselves throughout 2008; Reiss Beckford of South Essex finishing in Silver and Sam Oldham of Huntingdon in Bronze.
Under 16 British Champion, Ashley Watson: “It feels great! I came here to get an 84 and I got it dead on so I’m really happy. I thought it went really well, P.Bars and High bars went really well, this gives me a lot more confidence and hopefully a good chance of making the Junior European Team which is my aim”
The Men’s British Championships begins with a fantastic “taster session”, during which hundreds of young children from schools and gym clubs surrounding the Dagenham area, got a chance to try out the sport and also meet Olympic heroes Louis Smith and Daniel Keatings.
The Goresbrook Leisure Centre, hosting this event for the first time, looks superb and a truly fitting venue for such a prestigious event.
The Championships itself began with the Under 12 Competition on Friday afternoon with City of Leeds star Nile Wilson taking the title.
The under 12’s got the Championships off to a great start with some very accomplished routines on display, and a very impressive crowd in support.
Nile Wilson of City of Leeds was crowned the Under-12 British All-around Champion with his winning score of 79.300 sealing the trophy. In Silver came Matthew Liddiard from Nottinghamshire School of Gymnastics and the Bronze went to Joseph Fox (City of Leeds).
Goresbrook was a hot-bed of action throughout the day, with the pressence of British Olympic hero Louis Smith adding to the buzz.
All photos c/o DE Photography