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Special efforts at World Games

Gymnastics | Published:

JERSEY gymnasts spearheaded Great Britain’s medal campaign at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Jersey Special Gymnastics Club gymnasts representing Team GB at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. From left: Jessica Vieira, Aaron Bonnar, Matthew Kirkland, Cailiegh Quail. (24173423)

With the individual apparatus events finished, the four athletes won a combined total of 17 medals. The all-round results are still to be released, meaning their tally could climb even higher.

Aaron Bonnar, competing in men’s level 4, won five gold medals and one silver. The golds came in the horizontal bar, rings, vault and parallel bars while the silver came in the pommel horse.

Matthew Kirkland, in men’s level 3, collected one gold in the vault, and three silver medals in the horizontal bar, parallel bars and rings.

Cailiegh Quail, competing in the women’s level 3 competition, won gold in the uneven bars and vault and also took a bronze in the balance beam while Jessica Vieira, in the women’s level 2 event, took silver medals in the balance beam, uneven bars and vault and also won a bronze in the floor exercise.

Jersey Special Gymnastics Club head coach Yana Vibert said: ‘They have all done really really well. They were all drawn in competitive groups but Matthew [Kirkland], Jessica [Vieira] and Caileigh [Quail] had particularly challenging groups with some strong Russian athletes, so that was extremely impressive. They are all really happy with their performances and all of us at the club are so proud of them.

‘I think they did even better than they expected they would. They obviously impressed on the national stage a few weeks ago but this is the World Games, the biggest stage, so it is really impressive.

‘We have had gymnasts go to the Games before, but with this new group and their successes we hope it will inspire disabled people on the Island to get involved in gymnastics and sport in general and just give it a go.’

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