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Middleton books place at World Champs
BOOKER Gym Club has a hero in its midst after Zachary Middleton earned his place in the GB squad for the World Tumbling Championships taking place in Bulgaria next month.
Middleton won his place in the four-man squad with an impressive performance at the GB trials at Lilleshall last week.
He finished third each day to clinch a spot in the squad a year ahead of schedule.
Middleton has been training with the GB squad in Basingstoke but he wasn’t expected to make an international breakthrough until 2014.
However, he made his British Championships debut in July and has built on that with a full promotion to the GB squad for the worlds, taking place in Sofia from November 7-17.
The 15-year-old only joined the gym in 2009 after Booker became the first in the county to introduce freestyle classes.
Freestyle is a mix of parkour, free running and tricking.
Gym manager Kate Dutnall said: “He excelled at Freestyle and his tricks and skills inspired other boys training here. I could see that he had amazing natural ability as a gymnast and wanted him to pursue a more competitive route.
“However the more disciplined routes of men’s artistic did not appeal. Tumbling was the obvious answer. A high adrenalin discipline, it was totally suited to Zac’s mindset but he has surpassed all expectations."
And Middleton is something of a pied piper.
His move into freestyle and then tumbling has been followed by a clutch of Booker team-mates, and last weekend the club won 12 golds at two regional championships.
Nine gymnasts took part in the Bucks County Sports Acrobatics and Tumbling Championships and Bucks Open Competitions, with gold medals coming from Maya Zajac, in her first competition, Anna Hunter, Shane Hampden, Jack O’Brien, Harriet Lees and Sean Harrison.
Ozzy Emery and Freddie Hoskins added silvers with Daniel Giles winning a bronze.
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