South Essex Gymnastic Club's Jay Thompson wins silver at World School Games

SOUTH Essex Gymnastics Club teenager Jay Thompson has helped England to a brilliant silver medal at the World School Games in Rio.

The 17-year-old was part of a team of five who battled their way to second place behind the formidable Russians at the international event, which hosts competitors from 20 countries in Brazil.

The British Youth Champion also claimed an individual joint silver on the rings with England teammate Nile Ranger, and afterwards he tweeted: “Boom.. joint second with my buddy @NileMW. Not a bad day at the office brother! #legends.”

Thompson also came fifth in the all-around standings after working with Ranger, Hamish Carter, Giarnni Reini-Moran and Joe Fraser to secure team silver.

His coach Scott Hann was delighted with his success.

He said: “It’s good to see Jay doing well on the rings and he has come fifth overall in a very strong field.

“It was hoping he might have medalled in the all-around too, but he made a mistake on the high bar and that has cost him.

“But that’s how it goes in top level competitions and competing in Rio like this will have given him experience that money just can’t buy.”

Hann also pointed out what a great achievement it was for the team, who were weakened by the absence of Benfleet’s Brinn Bevan.

The 16-year-old, who has a slight injury anyway, was not eligible to compete at the games because of the vocational nature of his college course.

Thompson, who has recently moved to Essex from Exeter, is due back in the UK later this week and will return to training at the Basildon Sporting Village-based South Essex Club on Monday.

Hann said: “The next target for Jay is the Junior European Championships in March next year, where we want him to compete alongside Brinn.

“After that Jay will make the step up to the senior ranks and turn his attention to the Commonwealth Games.

“It will be a big step up for him but he’s progressing well and is ready for that challenge as he continues his bid to make the Olympics in Rio.”

They’ll be more medal chances for Thompson later this week at the World School Games when he competes in the finals of the vault and the high bar.

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