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Youth sport - trampolining: Izzy's the golden girl as GB claim second
OLYMPIC hopeful Izzy Songhurst has been crowned European junior trampoline champion in Portugal.
The 15-year-old Bournemouth-based star upstaged the Russian favourites to land gold in the under-18 individual event.
Songhurst also won silver as part of the Great Britain team at the prestigious competition held in Guimaraes, near Porto.
Proud mum Jodi said: “It’s a phenomenal achievement. Izzy was competing against girls two years older than her including girls from a strong Russian con-tingent who took the team gold.”
Songhurst, who is a member of OLGA trampoline club, went into the final in second place behind one of the Russian girls.
The final consisted of one voluntary routine, with difficulty, time of flight and form scores taken into account.
Songhurst’s difficulty level lifted her above the Russian leader and a French opponent who finished runner-up.
“I was second-last to jump and I knew I had held on to second after I jumped, but I didn’t know I had won until I saw the Russian girl’s scores go up,” explained Songhurst.
“I couldn’t believe it – European junior champion is a really big deal and is definitely the best day of my life so far.
“On the podium all the GB team sang the national anthem with me and I kept on singing even when the music stopped! It was an amazing experience.”
One of the first to congratulate Songhurst was Hannah Lewis, formerly of OLGA trampoline club, who brought home the same title 12 years ago.
OLGA was also represented by Zach Sheridan who was selected for the junior boys event, finishing a creditable fifth in a strong final line-up.
Among the other trampolinists from the Poole-based club to represent GB in Portugal were Jasper and Sapphire Dallard, Kirsty Way (sixth place in junior girls final), Lucy Ramsdale, Orla Adams and Caitlin Tarrant.
Songhurst, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength after her Youth Olympics appearance in Australia last January and has set a target to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Winning gold in Portugal to add to my silver medal (synchro pairs event) in Australia has made me even more determined to work hard and represent my country in the Olympic Games,” added Songhurst, who has been awarded a British Olympic Association card in recognition of her potential.
The BOA card entitles Songhurst to free training at her local sports centre and discounts at many sporting outlets.
At the European junior championships in Portugal, Great Britain finished second overall in the medals table, behind winners Russia.
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