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Pipers Vale gymnasts win British titles

PUBLISHED: 16:07 14 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:07 14 May 2014

Halle Hilton, left, and Jaimee Smith who have been crowned British champions at the Elite Grades National Finals held in Birmingham

Halle Hilton, left, and Jaimee Smith who have been crowned British champions at the Elite Grades National Finals held in Birmingham

Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club have made history after Jaime Smith and Halle Hilton were crowned British champions.

Eight-year-old Jaime became British champion at Elite Grade 4 by 0.050 of a mark, while Halle, nine, was joint-first along with Ondine Achampong in Elite Grade 3 at the National Elite Grades Finals in Birmingham.

Their feats mirrored the achievements of club-mates Alice Foster (Grade 4) and Sophie Caparn (Grade 3) who did the same eight years ago.

Back then, Sophie and Alice ensured Pipers Vale became the first club to boast double British champions at the event, and that feat has not been repeated until now.

Six gymnasts took part in the Grade 4 competition along with Jaime, including Kerry Hegarty, Ellie Gargett, Helena Hall, Emily Roper and Maisie Squire.

Jaime, Kerry and Ellie were part of the East Region team and won silver, while Helena, Emily and Maisie had qualified as individuals.

Jaime’s achievement means she will be in with a chance of qualifying for the National Under-12 squad if she can do similar in November at the Level Championships.

Pipers Vale head coach, Andy Wood MBE, said: “To repeat the feat of the girls who did it eight years ago was incredible.

“We knew we had a chance but to actually do it was brilliant.

“Jaime and Halle went there knowing they had an opportunity to do well but didn’t have much knowledge about the rest of the competitors.

“Jaime won by 0.50 – her event was nip and tuck – while in Halle’s event, you couldn’t get closer than a draw.”

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