South Tyneside gymnastics duo’s Euro success

Jake Phelan, right, with Michael Hill and coach Ian Said.
Jake Phelan, right, with Michael Hill and coach Ian Said.

A talented teenage acrobatic gymnast from South Tyneside is celebrating winning bronze for Britain at one of the world’s leading competitions.

Jake Phelan, 17, and his partner Michael Hill clinched third place at the Senior European Championships at Rzeszow, Poland.

Jake and Michael on the podium

Jake and Michael on the podium

Representing Team GB, they progressed from fifth in qualifying, finishing ahead of rivals from Ukraine, Belarus and Spain.

Despite scoring strongly in the Dynamic Final, they could not overhaul eventual gold medal winners Belgium and runner-up Russia.

The result confirms earlier success for Jake, of Bridlington Parade, Hebburn, and Michael, who in July narrowly missed out on a place in the final of the World Games 2017.

Coach Ian Said, who trains them at South Tyneside Gymnastics Club, Temple Park Centre, South Shields, said: “They have done fantastically well to claim the bronze medal.

“They were placed fifth after the qualifying round and were able to climb the leaderboard. Their preliminary routine was excellent.

“They were competing against the world’s very best acrobatic gymnasts, so had to perform extremely well to stay in contention.

“Jake and Michael are thrilled to have claimed a very good medal position.”

Acrobatic gymnastics features routines which include dynamic and balance, such as throws, somersaults and twists.

Jake, a Level 3 BTEC sports student at South Tyneside College, took up the sport aged nine.

Michael, who is in his mid-20s, was coaxed out of his three-year retirement earlier this year to carry on competing.

In their partnership, Michael remains rooted to the ground and guides Jake into the air for a range of breath-taking acrobatic moves.

Jake’s long-term ambition is to work with world-famous theatrical entertainment troupe Cirque du Soleil.

Information on South Tyneside Gymnastics Club is at