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Injuries brushed off as John Lyon student ranks among Britain’s best gymnasts

Injuries to both ankle and shoulder couldn’t stop one of John Lyon’s most dedicated sportsmen competing with the best young gymnasts at the 2018 Gymnastics British Championships.

Lower Sixth student Matthew McClymont was also able to score a personal best as he was placed 11th best junior in the country in the all-around gymnastics competition, while also impressing in the individual disciplines.

Competing at the championships held at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in March, which were watched by more than 15,000 people over four days, Matthew scored 71.850, missing out on the top ten by just 0.150.

In the six disciplines making up the all-around competition he ranked 9th on both the high bar and pommel horse, 12th on the rings, 14th on parallel bars, 15th on floor and 20th on vault.

The results were a huge success for Matthew, who had turned 17 just days before the championship, making him one of the youngest in the under 18 category.

And his 11th place finish was great reward for all the hard work put in by the young gymnast who trains at Tolworth Gymnastics Club under two-time Olympian Kieran Behan.

Matthew said: “It is a hugely demanding sport and something I am very dedicated too. I train for over 27 hours per week (more during the holidays) and travel approximately three hours per day to and from training. A lot of the other elite gymnasts do not attend full time schooling as I do, as they are able to train a lot more hours.

“Working through injury has been another major element. I’ve needed to stay mentally positive whilst putting in hours of rehab and conditioning each day, even when I’ve not been able to train on the apparatus.

“I have been passionate about gymnastics for as long as I can remember and attend a great club with a great coach. I am the youngest member of my squad and I am fortunate enough to watch others compete at a senior level in international competitions, which is is something I am working towards over the next few years.

“I am still young for a gymnast so the next few years will be hugely important in terms of learning new skills and staying focused. As for now, I need my shoulder and ankle injuries to heal and get 100% fit. Then, its new skills and perfection for the next round of competitions!”

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