PROMISING local gymnasts Michael Taylor and Brennan Czinner performed strongly against a high-quality field at the national championships in Sydney on the weekend.
Taylor, who boasts a level-eight ranking out of a possible 10, claimed a silver medal on day one of the championships with a second place finish on the rings in the team event.
Around 40 athletes from across Australia and New Zealand competed in the two-day tournament, with the top six qualifying for a trip to Los Angeles later this year.
Taylor, the current NSW champion on the parallel bars, told The Express competing against such quality opposition was an exciting experience.
“We both learnt a lot going up against that level of competition,” he said.
“Two of the athletes were going for Olympic qualification and only one was able to qualify, so there was a great atmosphere.”
The championship was the 16-year-old’s first-ever appearance at national level.
He was forced to pull out of last year’s tournament with a broken hand.
His training partner, Czinner, ranked at level seven, finished with a day one score of 67.965 after he placed seventh in the vault.
The duo then contested the apparatus finals on day two, which consisted of floor, vault, high bar, parallel bars and rings events.
Taylor ended the final day with a ninth in floor, 12th in vault and 10th in the high bar.
He finished in 14th position overall with a day two score of 69.389.
The score put him five positions above the 19th-placed Czinner, who recorded a final tally of 69.065.
Czinner placed seventh in vault, 10th on the rings, 10th on the high bar and 11th on the parallel bars.
Despite finishing in the top half of the field, Czinner said he needed to work hard on several of his weaker events for upcoming competitions.
“I was pretty satisfied with my overall performance, but I really need to improve on a few areas, particularly the pommel,” he said.
The talented pair are already looking forward to their next tournament, the country championships, which will be held in mid-July.