JAY THOMPSON got his season off to a brilliant start with a bronze medal at the English Championships.
The South Essex star, who has had to battle his way back from serious arm and ankle injuries, got an overall mark of 82.768 for third place at Loughborough University on March 19.
SEGC’s Brinn Bevan also continued his recovery from a broken leg with four limited routines to finish ninth and Rio Olympics medal-hopeful Max Whitlock was eighth after displays on four apparatus.
It capped a good month’s work for Whitlock after his all-around gold medal at the 2016 World Cup in Glasgow on March 12.
But SEGC’s director of coaching Scott Hann was keen to single out Thompson for praise and tipped him for a strong campaign.
He said: “It was a massive result for Jay because he was out injured for such a long time.
“To do six routines clean like that at a top event is some achievement and exactly what we want to see from him.
“Now we need to push up some of his start scores and really see if he can kick on. That will be what we want to see from him at the British Championships – six solid and clean routines again.”
The three gymnasts will next be in action at the British Championships at Liverpool’s Echo Arena (April 8-10).
Bevan will perform four full routines with proper dismounts as he targets a return to full competitive action at the European Championships in Switzerland in May.
Hann was also very pleased with the results of SEGC’s Under-14s and Under-12s at the English Championships – especially Danny Crouch.
The 10-year-old was ninth in Under-12 section with 69.050 and could have finished even higher but for a couple of small errors.
That was also the case for T’Khai Phillips (=18th) in the Under-12s where Anton Anderson (42nd) and Cole Burrell (60th) were also in action.
In the Under-14 category, Joseph Sawyer was 15th, Luke Morrison 30th, Joshua Underwood 31st and Drew Ladell 38th.