Jamie Lewis is the newly crowned European Youth Olympic men’s all-around champion after triumphing in style on day four of Gyor 2017.
The 16-year-old from Woking dominated the final, going clean on all six pieces and eventually finished with a score of 82.200, with Russia’s Iurii Busse (80.100) and Nicolau Rossello of Spain (78.550) back in second and third respectively.
Lewis, who won team silver on Tuesday, began on floor before tackling his two favoured apparatus the pommel and then rings. Building a commanding lead, which the young British gymnast refused to relinquish, he ended with a nerveless high bar to take the title.
That gold is the third straight all-around champion produced by Team GB at a European Youth Olympic Festival after Brinn Bevan won four years ago in Utrecht and Joe Fraser climbed onto the top step of the podium at Tbilisi 2015.
“This feels absolutely amazing,” said Lewis. I’ve put so much hard work into my preparation and I’m so glad it’s paid off.
“I’ve gone clean in all six pieces and I couldn’t have asked for a better performance across the day. As soon as I did my rings I knew I was quite far ahead and then on pommel I was quite nervous but they’re my two best pieces and I knew I had to do well.
“This is the best medal I’ve won so far in my career. I won team gold at the Europeans but this all-around definitely tops everything.
“Words can’t describe how much I’m enjoying being out here and competing. The arena is special and it’s great to be meeting so many new people – it’s such an amazing experience.”
Lewis was joined in the final by teammate Jake Jarman (78.200) who finished fifth in his first all-around final and Lewis will be back in action tomorrow and Saturday for three further individual finals as he bids for more medals on the pommel, rings and parallel bars.
In the girls’ competition, Taeja James, stepping in for Zoe Simmons in the final, finished an impressive fifth with 52.500 points - 0.350 off bronze. Team GB’s final gymnast in action was Amelie Morgan, who ended the day in seventh with a score of 51.550.
Jarman added: “It’s been a good two days of competition; the first day I came seventh all round and qualified for today and then came fifth which was an amazing achievement for me because I set the target of finishing top five and I’ve done it today.
“I’m buzzing at the moment but I just want to start looking ahead to the next few months of competition and just keep building on it, but for now just enjoy the rest of the Festival and the amazing atmosphere.
“We have a great team with a really positive vibe in the group. We support each other really well and they mean everything to me. We get each other through tough times, in competition and out, we support each other if we’re ever nervous and therefore it’s nice when we can share in each other’s success too.
“I’m really proud of Jamie, he came today wanting to win the competition more than anything and for him to do it just makes the whole team happy.”
Over in the pool, Charlie Hutchison claimed Team GB’s first swimming medal of the week with bronze in the 400m individual medley.
The 15-year-old opted for a gutsy strategy of going out hard in the first 200m, but the move paid dividends as Hutchison touched home in third with a time of 4:25.90 .
“I know I’m stronger in the first half of the medley but I also know that the other guys would be good in the back half so I went out hard and thought I had nothing to lose,” said Hutchison.
“It’s taken a while for us swimmers to get into this week but it’s great to say that I’m the first medallist. It’s a really good feeling. The atmosphere has been amazing and walking out and hearing all my team cheering me was great.
“This really caps off the week but I’ve still got the 200m backstroke to come so I’ll be targeting a medal in that one as well. I’m ranked second so hopefully I can pick up another medal.”
Elsewhere, Pia Murray made it safely into the women’s 100m butterfly final with a third place finish in her semi-final while the quartet of Adam Metcalf, Sam Dailley, Alicia Dingle and Mia Slevin finished eighth in the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay final.
Team GB’s third medal of the day was won by Josie Steele in the -57kg judo event. The 16-year-old from Inverness had to do it the hard way after a second round defeat to Slovenia’s Kaja Kajzer by waza-ari meant going through the repechages.
However, the Highland Budokan judoka negotiated the path with aplomb, eventually triumphing over Renata Zachova of the Czech Republic via ippon to clinch bronze.
Holly Jones (-63kg), Ryan Turnbull (-73kg) and Aaron Miller (-81kg) all went out in their first contests on the penultimate day of judo action in Gyor.
Steele said: “I may have shed a few tears coming off that podium though I’m not quite sure it’s sunk in just yet.
“In that last fight I felt a bit under pressure as I wasn’t getting the grips I wanted but I finished it off nicely so got the job done. Every single fight was a battle just to get to this point so to come away with a medal is amazing.”
Over at the cycling road race, Ella Barnwell and Amelia Sharpe were pipped to the line by Dina Scavone as the Belgian won the bunch sprint for gold with Barnwell and Sharpe in fifth and sixth respectively.
In the men’s race, the gold medal was won by Piccolo Andrea, with the Italian passing three Russian’s involved in the day’s breakaway to claim gold. Alfie George was the highest place Brit in ninth.
The tennis action concluded late into the evening with both Team GB’s doubles pairings falling at the second round phase to tough opponents.
Toby Samuel and Barney Fitzpartick went down 4-2 4-0 to the Polish number one seeds, with reduced sets being used due to rain delays, before the girls pairing of Lilly Mould and Holly Staff lost 4-1 4-0 to Estonia.
Day Four Results
Women’s Road Race: Ella Barnwell 5th (1:08.21), Amelia Sharpe 6th (1:08.21), Elynor Backstedt 30th (1:08.21)
Men’s Road Race: Alfie George 9th (1:37.54), Lewis Askey 58th (1:37.54), Sam Watson 67th (1:38.14)
Women’s -57kg: Josie Steele 3rd
Women’s -63kg: Holly Jones First Round
Men’s -73kg: Ryan Turnbull First Round
Men’s -81kg: Aaron Miller First Round
Men’s 100m Freestyle Preliminaries: Sam Dailley 12th (52.46), Adam Metcalf 15th (52.56)
Women’s 100m Butterfly Preliminaries: Pia Murray 6th (1:01.78), Charlotte Robinson 36th (1:05.67)
Men’s 400m Individual Medley Preliminaries: Charlie Hutchison 1st (4:26.92), William Bell 5th (4:31.55)
Women’s 50m Freestyle Preliminaries: Alicia Dingle 36th (27.46), Mia Slevin 43rd (27.71)
Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Preliminaries: Great Britain 8th (3:42.10)
Men’s 100m Freestyle Semi-Final: Sam Dailley DSQ
Women’s 100m Butterfly Semi-Final: Pia Murray 5th (1:01.54)
Men’s 400m Individual Medley Final: Charlie Hutchison 3rd (4:25.90)
Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Final: Great Britain 8th (3:41.31)
Men’s Doubles: Great Britain (Toby Samuel & Barney Fitzpatrick) lost to Poland 4-2 4-0
Women’s Doubles: Great Britain (Lilly Mould & Holly Staff) lost to Estonia 4-1 4-0
Day Five Schedule
All times are Gyor time (BST+1)
Artistic Gymnastics: Men’s Pommel Horse Final, Rings Final 14:00-16:00 (Jamie Lewis)
Canoe Sprint: Men’s, Women’s and Mixed 200m Qualifications 08:30-12:30, Men’s, Women’s and Mixed 200m Heats 15:00-18:00 (Alix Aitchison, Zoe Clark, Enya Dale, Alex Greaves, Thomas Lambert, Ed Nightingale)
Judo: Women’s -70kg 10:00-18:00 (Tomi Imrie)
Swimming: 09:00-11:45, Finals 17:00-20:00 (Adam Metcalf, Alicia Dingle, Archie Goodburn, Ceara Barber, Charlie Hutchison, Charlotte Robinson, Kyle Booth, Mia Slevin, Michaella Glenister, Oliver Taverner, Pia Murray, Rachel Anderson, Rebecca Clynes, Sam Dailley, Samuel Osborne, William Bell)