Brave Beth shows her class for Attleborough gymnastics club

Norfolk Academy gymnast Beth Harmer showed her class at the National Championship with an impressive performance – and bravery in continuing after a nasty fall – to earn an excellent national ranking for the year.

Harmer, competing at the UK Age Group Championships at the Guildford Spectrum, took on the level three competition and performed with class and style on the day. She picked up 12th place on the day, following an awful fall from the beam which she did exceptionally well to recover from.

And when combined with the scores from the compulsory competition earlier in the year, it was enough to see her named fourth best level three gymnast in the country. Most importantly, the fantastic result gained the 10-year-old a place on the Great Britain Development Squad for next year.

'Bethany is an extraordinary talent – children with her level of ability come along very rarely,' said Norfolk Academy head coach, Sara-Jane Inglis.

'She is also an extremely brave gymnast and is always keen to try new and testing moves. Bethany's progress over the last couple of years has been staggering and if she continues at this rate the sky really is the limit for her in what she can achieve.'

Harmer was also reserve for the East's regional team, who stormed to a convincing team victory once again by some seven marks.

Also competing at Guildford for Attleborough's Norfolk Academy were Caitlin Baker and Eleanor Parsons, who made up part of the East region's team at level four.

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Both did well to have a clean competition and survive tough judging. Baker placed 17th and Parsons 20th in the combined rankings for 2010, and will hope to build on the results next year.

• Beth Harmer is in need of sponsorship to help see her through the Great Britain Development Squad schedule of competitions and training. If you can help, contact Heather Keylock on 01953 603650 or 07944 869518.

•The Academy also enjoyed a terrific weekend at the recent Regional FIG and Challenge Championships in Ipswich.

At out of age level four for age 10-11 years, Jessica Scarlett placed third overall and collected apparatus medals on all four pieces, highlighted by gold on the vault.

Megan White competed at the same level, placing 11th overall and collecting medals on vault and bars.

In the level four competition for girls aged 12-13 years, Poppy Brown placed second overall and took floor bronze, while at level three age 11-12 Melissa White placed seventh and Grace Ashworth did likewise at age 13-plus. White also collected silver on bars.

Competing in the final round and in her final major competition, Naomi Loome battled a foot injury to place third at level two age 14-plus. Naomi also became regional champion on floor.

The following day's top level FIG gymnasts saw the Academy's Emily Crowe, Polina Poliakova and Angel Kenzitt joined by Bethany Harmer in making up the club's team to contest the individual and team honours.

Crowe was one of the top gymnasts on show and took overall silver in the espoir age group, closely followed by team-mate Poliakova, who took overall bronze.

Both picked up apparatus medals, Poliakova with bronze on vault, bars and floor, and Crowe with gold on vault and silvers on bars, beam and floor.

Kenzitt made a welcome return to regional competition and placed a creditable eighth, while Harmer – too young to be eligible for individual honours – helped the team pick up a bronze.

It was a great result for the girls, who were the youngest team in the competition by some distance – and it bodes well for the future.