World title double for Wakefield Gym Club

Ashleigh Long, centre.
Ashleigh Long, centre.

Wakefield Gym Club can boast two more world champions after brilliant results in the World Trampoline, Tumbling and Dual Mini Trampoline Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The club based at Thornes Park Stadium, in Wakefield, has a stunning record in world championships and gold-medal winning performances from Ashleigh Long and Eleanor Simpson extended that record even further.

Under the guidance of coach Craig Lowther, Wakefield Gym Club have now won gold medals in six consecutive championships, dating back to 2003.

Lowther’s pedigree in developing top class gymnasts has resulted in his appointment as national head coach of the Great Britain tumbling team and he inspired his team to success in Bulgaria.

Great Britain tumblers secured gold and silver medals in the 15 to 16-years-old girls competition with Wakefield’s Ashleigh Long on top of the podium.

Long, 15, finished the qualifications in fourth place and then scored 33.10 in the final to become the new world champion ahead of fellow Briton and silver medallist Rachel Davies.

Lowther said: “This is an outstanding achievement for Ashleigh. She suffered a serious injury in the same arena a year ago but has shown true Yorkshire grit and determination to come back.

“To go from fourth to take the gold is fantastic.”

Lowther added: “Rachel Davies is a real star. Her outstanding tumble to take a world championship silver medal shows her immense talent. She is a star of the future.”

Wakefield’s medal haul continued when Eleanor Simpson became the world tumbling champion in the 13 to 14-years-old girls category.

Qualifying in fifth place, the 13-year-old gymnast produced an outstanding score of 32.70 in the final to clinch victory ahead of GB team-mate Shanice Davidson, 13, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, and Belgium’s Anne Leemans, who shared the silver medal with 32.20 points apiece.

Lowther said: “What a fantastic result for Eleanor Simpson and Wakefield Gym Club.

“She proved she is a real powerhouse by rising from fifth spot to take the gold medal and with the highest difficulty score of the competition too.”