Gymnast Folwell is Commonwealth Games champion

HUNTINGDON’S Luke Folwell is the Commonwealth Games all-around gymnastics champion.

HUNTINGDON’S Luke Folwell is the Commonwealth Games all-around gymnastics champion.

He beat England team-mate Reiss Beckford into second to secure the gold medal by just 0.100 points today (Wednesday).

The 23-year-old gymnast, who trains at Huntingdon Gym Club, had already been a part of the England team that won a silver in the team event.

He took the lead from Beckford with two apparatus rotations remaining, and held it together on the bars to seal gold.

Folwell had suffered a fall on the bars in qualifying for the final, so removed risky elements from the routine, knowing that a clean run would take him to the gold.

“It’s a dream, it’s amazing. I just can’t put it into words,” said Folwell. “I know a lot of people say that when they’ve won, but it’s truly how I’m feeling.”

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Folwell just missed out on a vault medal four years ago in Melbourne, and had never before won a title at the top level.

“I’m so happy I was able to put it all into practice and nail some clean routines,” he said. “I’m proud of the team and how we all got through it.”

He added that the secret behind his nerveless winning routine on the horizontal bars had been to think of Huntingdon.

“I just pictured myself at Huntingdon Olympic Gym Club with no-one watching,” he said. “Then all I had to do was perform my training routine and present to my coach. And it worked.”

Ben Howells, coach at Folwell’s home club, said: “I can’t believe he has done it. It’s fantastic for him – he really showed his maturity and his experience in the event.

He kept his head when it mattered, removing the risky parts of the routine and being absolutely squeaky clean.

“Everyone at the club is delighted for him.”

Fellow HGC member Luke Carson, competing for Northern Ireland, finished in 10th position.