State?s gymnasts hit city for competition


MORE than 300 gymnasts from across the sunshine state converge on the harbour city this weekend as the Gladstone Gymnastics Club host their annual invitational competition.

The invitational meet is the biggest competition the local club hosts each year and this year's event, starting tomorrow, will be no different.

Gladstone are sure to fly the home flag proudly, with the club's top gymnasts putting in long hours to perfect their routines for this weekend.

Rivals from Rockhampton, Mackay, Bundaberg, Yeppoon and Emerald will not make it easy, but Gladstone are ready to fire.

The host club are sure to be strong in the Women's Artistic (WAG) competition, with 2004 state champion Dayna Lawrie leading the way.

Lawrie will be joined by Keecia Mallie, Tamara Purcell, Gemma Sweeney and Ella Lawrie in the hotly-contested field.

This team could well be called the fantastic five because of their performances on the WAG apparatuses ? the floor, vault, uneven bars and the beam.

You better be early to catch these five in action, as they have the proud honour of opening the meet at 9am.

Gladstone are also expected to be in the mix at Men's Artistic (MAG) level, with Billy Ward, the 2004 state champion in action.

Ward is in good form heading into the weekend and is the best hope for success in a division that requires a mix of strength, grace and flexibility.

MAG gymnasts compete on six apparatuses ? the floor, parallel bars, high bar, vault, rings and pommel horse.

And the rhythmic gymnasts are also set to shine, with coach Lara Griffiths having a major impact in her return.

Main action is being held at the Anna Turetschek Gymnastics Arena, while the nearby PCYC will be used as a supporting venue. Action starts from 9am on both days of competition, with tickets costing $3, programs $1.

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