SOUTH ESSEX GYMNAST JAY THOMPSON HELPS ENGLAND TO TEAM SILVER AT WORLD SCHOOL GAMES

South Essex's Jay Thompson on the podium at the 2013 World School Games
South Essex’s Jay Thompson on the podium at the 2013 World School Games

SOUTH Essex Gymnastics Club teenager Jay Thompson has helped England to a brilliant silver medal at the World School Games in Brazil.

The 17-year-old was part of a team of five who battled their way to second place with a score of 249.150 behind the formidable Russians (253.100) and in front of France (241.450) at the international event, which hosts competitors from 20 countries in Brasília.

British Youth Champion Thompson also claimed an individual joint silver on the rings alongside England teammate Nile Ranger, and bronze medals on the vault and high bar.

And he came fifth in the all-around standings with a score of 82.000, after working with Ranger, Hamish Carter, Giarnni Reini-Moran and Joe Fraser to secure team silver.

South Essex’s head coach Scott Hann was delighted with the teenager, who returned to the club in Basildon to show off his medals on Thursday.

Hann said: “It’s good to see Jay doing so well. He has come fifth overall in a very strong field, and competing in Rio like this will have given him invaluable experience.

“The next target for Jay is the Junior European Championships in March next year, where we want him to compete alongside (fellow South Essex member) Brinn Bevan.

“After that Jay will make the step up to the senior ranks and turn his attention to the Commonwealth Games.

“It will be a big step up for him but he’s progressing well and is ready for that challenge as he continues his bid to make the Olympics in Rio.”