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Josh Newman: I never thought I'd win the gold
1:35pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in Sport
GOLD medal-winning gymnast Josh Newman admitted top spot on the podium at a major international competition was beyond his wildest dreams.
The 14-year-old from Noak Bridge captured first place in the synchronised trampoline competition at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival with Harry Newbold-Cozens.
And after arriving back home yesterday morning he declared: “We did not think that we had a chance of winning.
“To be honest, we thought that we could maybe take a bronze or possibly fourth place.
"But I’m really pleased to have won gold with Harry and it was a proud moment when we got our medals."
Josh admitted the opportunity to train regularly with Salford-based Harry in Sydney had helped them onto the top step of the podium.
And a light-hearted mood before their routines helped the British duo to forget their nerves.
“Before we got onto the trampoline we were not being serious and were making jokes, and that helped a lot,” added the Billericay School pupil.
“There was quite a lot of people watching and they were cheering for us, even when we beat the Australians.”
Before his synchro success Josh had finished 10th in the final of the individual event, where he scored a personal best in one of his three routines.
The south Essex teenager was up against international class athletes from China, Australia and New Zealand.
Josh stayed with the GB team at Sydney University and had to contend with the city’s record temperatures of 45 degrees.
He got sunburnt on Bondi Beach during down time with the team, but enjoyed the chance to do some sightseeing.
The Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) has been held biennially since the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics in 2000.
The event is billed as giving spectators the chance to see Olympians of the future competing, while giving the athletes a flavour of what the Olympics is like.
Josh will be 17 when the Rio Olympics arrive, but they will come a year too early for him to compete as trampolinists must be 18 to participate.
The Brentwood Trampoline Club member therefore has one eye on the 2020 Games, but is concentrating on domestic and international competitions this year.
He has been included in the British Gymnastics high performance squad which will make it easier to get selected for European and World Championships.