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Golden gym girl Tyesha is ‘a great hope’ for GB

PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 13:30 28 March 2013

Ilford schoolgirl Tyesha Mattis (centre) shows off her gold medal at the British Gymnastics Championships

Ilford schoolgirl Tyesha Mattis (centre) shows off her gold medal at the British Gymnastics Championships

All Rights Reserved. Alan Edwards

Ilford gymnast is being tipped for great things

Ilford gymnast Tyesha Mattis is being tipped for the top after landing a British title this week.

The Loxford School pupil climbed off her sick bed to be crowned junior all-around champion, having also won gold in the beam.

And coach Lorraine Atkinson believes the 14-year-old can have a great future in the sport.

“There’s more to come,” said Atkinson.

“Tyesha is a great hope for Great Britain and we’re hoping for a medal in Rio.”

That might sound like a bold claim, but Mattis won a clutch of medals, including two golds a silver and two bronze, at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival earlier this year.

And the youngster appears to have good sporting genes.

Atkinson added: “I coached her mother Charmaine, who trialled for the Commonwealth Games (Victoria 1994).

“She always asked if I would coach her children but I had retired and was only coming into the club to do some paperwork.

“Charmaine kept saying ‘she’s got talent’ and I kept saying ‘later, later’ until she finally dragged me in and I came out of retirement four years ago!”

Mattis has made excellent progress under Atkinson’s tutelage, but her latest successes almost never happened.

“We were all ill during the previous two weeks and it didn’t look like we would be going,” said Atkinson.

“But at the last minute we said ‘lets go and try’. Tyesha is full of confidence and has worked so hard.”

Mattis took on a high-risk routine in the beam, scoring 13.800 and powerful tumbling saw her add silver in the floor with a score of 13.900.

A clean Yurchenko straight and full twist led to a score or 13.300 and bronze in the vault.

She had performed a double twisting Yurchenko in the final of the all-around on her way to overall gold and Atkinson added: “She was the only junior to do the double twist, but we decided to just do easier vaults because she had been ill.

“She fell on the bars, which took her out of the medals in that.”

Her East London teammate Chantelle Halford, fourth in the beam after a fall, performed a beautifully executed straight dismount to win silver in the bars, as Mattis finished fourth.

Now attention will turn to the European Youth Festival in Utrecht in June.

“The British Championships were a trial for the Europeans and Tyesha has already beaten the Chinese in Australia,” said Atkinson.

“Hopefully she can beat the Russians and Romanians next!”


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