FORMER Athens Olympian Lisa Mason might be a mum of 31 but she is once again at the top of her sport after she won a gold medal at the English Gymnastics Championships this weekend.
Mason, who trains at Huntingdon Gym, bounced back from a 12-year break in the sport to win the gold in the vault competition 13 years after she competed for Team GB at the 2000 Olympics in Greece.
“My leotard is older than some of the gymnasts that I competed against,” joked Mason, who was born in Aylesbury but began attending Huntingdon Gym Club aged just five.
Head coach Paul Hall said he was amazed. “This was an incredible performance from Lisa,” said the man who coaches Louis Smith. “To come back to such a difficult sport from so many years off and to still perform complex routines that stand up to the level of her contemporaries is quite unique.
“I was initially sceptical about Lisa’s wish to come back but thanks to the work of her work, Monica Boru, and her desire to prove she can still do it, she had achieved this incredible result.”
Mason is now hastily arranging childcare for the next few weeks as she prepares for the British Championships where she will once again go for gold in the vault competition and take part on the beam. Mason’s ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Also at the championships, Dan Keatings marked a welcome return to the season with credible performances on three apparatus with his highest score coming on the pommel horse for a bronze medal.
Owen Harrison, the 11-year-old hot prospect from Huntingdon, finished fourth on the parallel bars.
Another young talent, 14-year-old Benji Eyre, defended his Welsh Championship title in Cardiff with a score of 70.950 and a clean sweep of gold medals over all six pieces of apparatus.
HPT Sport 07 Lisa Mason