Today England’s gymnasts and weightlifters put their support behind the Queen’s Baton relay as it toured Birmingham. Some of the best tumblers in the world came together with world class artistic and rhythmic gymnasts to follow the weightlifting showcase with complex technical routines.
The display started with petite weightlifter Hannah Powell, who competed in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune and Chris Freebury. Powell weighing only 41 kg demonstrated clean and jerk of 71kg weight!
The Sports Acrobatics display came from internationals Robyn Birch, Grace Blacklock and Claire-Louise Thompson. Mike Barnes, Charlie Burrow, Samantha Rockey and Rachel Letsche then showed some phenomenal tumbling skills. Mike is the current British champion and next week will be travelling to Russia to represent GB in the world championships. A display of Rhythmic Gymnastics came from Jade Faulkner, Francesca Fox and Frankie Jones who have all competed at World and European Level and have numerous British Championship titles between them. 12 year old Billie McKenzie, a member of the GB World Class Start Squad showed her exceptional talent on the asymmetrical bars – she is certainly a face you will see on the podiums in the future. Artistic gymnasts Kristian Thomas the senor men’s English Champion and Emily Goring also showcased their skills in artistic gymnastics.
The baton spent the day, on an open top bus touring the city and visiting several local schools. The students of Birmingham gave a great welcome for the Baton which first visited Hamsted Hall School who competed in a mini-Commonwealth Games involving over 400 impeccably turned out students. A flying visit to to Dorrington Primary followed for a special Commonwealth assembly before finally the baton was welcomed to Cherry Orchard School.
Late in the day the Baton arrived at the City Council House for the Asian business meeting, where top business people heard from the Delhi Organising Committee of the spectacle they are promising at the Games next year.
The evening ended with 100 pupils including drummers and dancers gathered with the Baton on the top of the bus parading into Victoria Square in the City Centre for an evening of entertainment and celebration.