GYMNASTICS: Oldham eyes up Youth Olympic glory for Huntingdon Gym Club

HUNTINGDON Gym Club member Sam Oldham announced himself as the best junior gymnast in Europe back in April – and is determined to upgrading that status to world No.1 at the inaugural Youth Olympics.

HUNTINGDON Gym Club member Sam Oldham announced himself as the best junior gymnast in Europe back in April – and is determined to upgrading that status to world No.1 at the inaugural Youth Olympics.

Oldham walked away from the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships with gold four months ago having claimed the all-around, horizontal bar and team junior titles in Birmingham.

The 17-year-old’s performances in the West Midlands were good enough for him to earn selection for the first ever Youth Olympics in Singapore as part of a three-strong gymnastics team.

Oldham will compete in the Lion City in the all-around, floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar routines, kicking off on Monday.


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And Oldham – who claimed double gold at last year’s European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland – is adamant he will climb the podium in Singapore.

“I know that Germany, China and Japan, as well as the ex-Soviet Union countries, will provide really stiff competition for us – they always do,” said Oldham.

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“I expect them to give us a real run for our money but I know we are strong too so we should be able to do well. I just want to go out and hit six for six first of all and that should put me in the overall final.

“And then as soon as you are in the overall final, you never know what could happen. Hopefully I can qualify for a few other finals and obviously I would like to bring back a medal.

“I am pretty confident. I have been fine-tuning my routines for around five days a week for the last 10 weeks so it is at the point where I can hit them now without having to think about it too much.

“Hopefully it will be like that when I get out there. Obviously there will be the added pressure but I am hoping that I should be able to deal with that.”

Oldham was pushed all the way for his flight to Singapore, finishing narrowly ahead of Max Whitlock at the European Championships to earn the sole men’s artistic gymnastics spot.

A recurring knee injury threatened Oldham’s participation, but he says he is now back in top condition.

“I have had problems with my knees for years and it flared up again recently, I’ve also still got a sore elbow, but it is nothing major,” he added.

“You always feel you could be a bit more prepared but this is one of the most prepared I have ever been for a competition.

“I tend to normally do well so I hope I can give a good performance. Confidence is high, it is going to be difficult, but I am feeling confident.”

Lloyds TSB is partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB on the journey to the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games. LloydsTSB.com/London2012

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