Competition season for our artistic gymnasts is now upon us. With the excitement of the British Championships, World Cup and Commonwealth Games to come in March and April, there’s plenty to look forward to.
At the elite level, no sport is more demanding on the body than gymnastics, but despite going through career-threatening injuries in recent years, Jay Thompson and Giarnni Regini-Moran are aiming to be back on top in the not too distant future.
Jay, who took pommel bronze at the English Championships earlier this month, was told that he might not be able to compete in gymnastics again but continues to defy the odds: "Knowing that I was told I’d never do full gymnastics again, let-a-lone be able to stay at the top, to prove people wrong is amazing. To still be doing high-level gymnastics, for me is incredible.
"It’s really hard to explain what it’s like coming back from the injuries I’ve had, it’s been extremely tough, but the reward after being out, to be back is an amazing feeling."
Giarnni has also had a tough couple of years, having fought back from a devastating knee injury before injuring his ankle when making his come-back. After dominating the junior age groups, winning the junior European all-around title in 2016, the Europa gymnast is positive about his future in the sport: "When you’ve worked so hard to get back from a major injury, which potentially was career changing, to then get to your first international back, and then snap your ankle, you just don’t believe that it’s actually happened.
"But when I think about it, it’s a few weeks in a boot, a little bit of rehab, and then I’ll be back, and there’s loads of things I can still be doing. It’s been tough but I’m mentally strong and I’ve got through it."
Looking at a comeback date, Giarnni is targeting both the European’s and World’s later in the year: "Ideally I want to try for the European’s in August, but potentially the World’s. The key thing for me is not to rush it, and really focus on getting fully fit and strong again."
You can see Jay in action at the 2018 Gymnastics British Championships which take place at Echo Arena, Liverpool next week, from the 8th-11th March. Get your tickets.