MORETON Hall’s rising gymnastic star Gabriel Hannah has set his sights on a place in Great Britain’s senior squad after impressing at the recent British Gymnastics Championships.
The 17-year-old stole the show at Liverpool’s Echo Arena at the weekend, clinching gold in the Under-18 junior vault competition out of a field of 30 competitors.
However, that wasn’t the highlight for the Ipswich-based Pipers vale Club member, whose glittering Vault performance qualified him to take part in the showpiece senior competition with the top eight performers competing.
Going head-to-head with current GB Olympic representatives, and in front of the watchful eyes of national team coaches, Hannah didn’t look out of place, clinching a fourth place finish to cap off a memorable competition.
The result was made more remarkable by the fact that the youngster is still recovering from a fractured wrist suffered in the Christmas period, his second major injury after breaking his ankle at the age of 15, requiring it to be screwed together.
Reflecting on his impressive showing, the Bury-based St Benedict’s sixth form student is now aiming to force his way into the senior squad when he turns 18, after catching the attention of selectors.
“I was delighted with the gold medal but also really pleased with how I competed in the senior competition,” he said. “I think the coaches in the senior squad were aware of me but hopefully after my performances they will be even more so.
“It was definitely my biggest achievement so far and on the biggest stage.”
Being just 17 meant Hannah wasn’t in consideration for this Summer’s Olympic Games as he was too young for the squad, but he revealed an appearance at Rio Di Janeiro in four-years time is certainly an ambition.
“Four years time in Brazil could be a realistic target and a possibility I am aiming for,” he said.