Castle Hill RSL gymnasts impress at the World Championships and World Age Championships

Bound for glory: Dominic Clarke and Liam Christie were the best performers from the Castle Hill RSL gym at the Trampolining World Championships in Bulgaria. Picture: Andrew McMurtry
Bound for glory: Dominic Clarke and Liam Christie were the best performers from the Castle Hill RSL gym at the Trampolining World Championships in Bulgaria. Picture: Andrew McMurtry

Castle Hill RSL gymnasts have matched it with the world’s best at the Trampoline World Championships and Trampoline World Age Championships.

Kellyville resident Dominic Clarke, 20, came away with a bronze medal from the team event at the World Championships, with his score the highest in the teams event to seal the bronze medal for Australia.

Clarke finished seventh in the final of the double mini trampoline competition and made several personal best scores across his four events.

He said winning the bronze medal was a special feeling.

“It probably meant a little bit more to me because I got to compete with my fellow teammates who I’ve been competing against all year,” he said.

“All of us put such a huge effort into training and competing all throughout the year and to see all that come together in the right environment was just absolutely phenomenal and it was such an insane feeling.”

It was an excellent result for the four Australian representatives at the open age championships with all four – Abbie Watts, Amy Lewis and Kira Ward - claiming at least one top 15 finish across their events.

The Australian women’s team also finished fourth, just behind Russia, Portual and Great Britain.

Clarke said being able to claim an individual final in double mini trampoline was an amazing feeling after performing “two of the best passes I’ve ever done” in the preliminary rounds.

“I had an absolute blast competing in that final with such a high level of competition – everybody was so incredible,” Clarke said.

“I was really happy with how I went. If I’m bettering myself at the moment, then I have a projection of what I should be doing next year and in 2019 leading up to the Olympics.”

At the World Age Championships, Liam Christie, 15, came home with two finals from three events.

The Kellyville Ridge resident missed out on a bronze medal in the synchronised trampoline event by just 0.05 points.

“The whole experience was absolutely amazing,” he said.

“Just to compete on the world stage is just such a good experience. To come away with a fourth and going close to medalling in two events is just beyond what I could have imagined.

“To come that close just motivates me even more to go back next time and do even better.”

Other world age gymnasts Imogen Florian and Georgia Rayment both claimed top 15 finishes as well.

Since arriving back in Australia, Liam also won a Combined High Schools Sporting Blues award, the highest honour that can be bestowed high school sportspeople in NSW.

Kira Ward also claimed a NSW Sporting Blues award as well as winning the Betty Bowen Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding NSWCHS female representative.

“When I first heard that I’d won it, I didn’t actually know what it was because I’d only been to public school since the start of the year,” he said. 

“At the awards night I got to see Ian Thorpe and all the other amazing athletes that were there. It was just so incredible to win that award.”

Next, Liam hopes to qualify for the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.