Joint gold for besties Ellie and Paige

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IT WAS a perfect day for best friends Ellie Petroiu and Paige Moroney as they stood on top of the podium together with an unusual gymnastics joint gold.

Ellie, nine, and Paige, eight, came first or second on all five pieces of apparatus to each get an overall mark of 66 at the Compulsory Level 4 in-age competition at Pipers Vale, Ipswich, on Sunday, April 12.

Ellie (left in the photo above) has been at South Essex since she was three and Paige (right in the photo) joined when she was five and they have formed a great friendship at the Basildon-based club.

It means both have now qualified for the National Finals at Fenton Manor, Stoke-on-Trent, on Saturday (April 25), and their coach Leah Hickton was delighted with the duo.

Leah said: “It is very unusal to get two gymnasts getting exactly the same score like this – and even more when they are from the same club.

“And Paige did really well because she has tonsillitis the day before but still managed to get 14 out of 14 on her strap-bar routine, which again is very unusal.

“What’s really nice is they have always been very close. They are best freinds and they always say they want to win together.

“They only problem was they only had one trophy! So we are getting another one made.”

South Essex’s Sienna Goodwin, eight, coached by Caron Notton, also competed at Compulsory Level 5 and won a terrific silver medal.

Leah said: “Sienna had a big improvement on her bars score and stuck her beam. And there was only a tenth of a mark to first place so she did very well.”