​Our student, Christian Cox, describes his recent experiences at the 25th Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships 2016, Putian City, China where his team gained GOLD! Christian balances studying at Esher alongside training over 20 hours a week in gymnastics. He is part of a men’s 4 base team linked with Richmond Gymnastics Association.

 ”My favourite routine, as it was the easiest, was our first routine, especially because I got to do a few flips in it. My highlight of the routine was the tumble because in the training, prior to the event, I kept freaking out in the air and landing on my head (ouch!). So overcoming the mental block towards the tumble was a great personal achievement for me. In this routine we got the highest mark in qualifying (27.800/30.00), beating second place by 0.400 (which is a lot in gymnastics). Our second qualifying routine wasn’t as good as we could have made it. There were simple mistakes that could easily have been avoided: synchronicity, pointed toes, etcetera. It was also our easiest routine which had the lowest values. However, we still did a fairly good job and came second in that one – qualifying in first, followed by Azerbaijan, Portugal, Russia, and then either Germany or China (can’t quite remember). Whilst warming up for the finals, I was extremely nervous; this was the defining moment that all the training for the last ten years of my life had led up to. During the warm-up we dropped almost every move, which didn’t help the anxiety. As we walked onto the floor all the adrenaline kicked in and I just felt pumped! I just wanted to jump about and perform as well as I could – which is all I could possibly do. One particular move in our final routine is called ‘3 high’, which we dropped in training, was the most terrifying part of the whole routine. But sure enough, li’l baby Aidan (the dude on top) pulled through and we did a bang on job. As we waited for our scores to come up, we knew we were either second or first; either way we didn’t mind, as long as we did a clean routine. As soon as our scores came up we were in awe and just couldn’t stop laughing. There is no way to describe the feeling of knowing you are the best in the world – it still hasn’t sunk in! I think my favourite part of coming first was either watching the Azerbaijani men’s 4 have a bit of a sulk by whacking the plants with their tracksuit tops or having the Russians blank us and give us dirty looks for kicking them out of a medal position.”

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